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19 Sept 2002 : Column 418W—continued

Overseas Superannuation

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much money was spent by her Department in each year since 1998–99 on overseas superannuation, referred to on page 98 of the 2002 departmental report. [73131]

Clare Short: Details of Overseas Superannuation expenditure for each year to 2000–01 are given in line two of Table 1 on page 98 of the Departmental Report 2002.


Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what (1) discussions her Department has had with the UNHCR regarding the protection afforded to refugees in Kenya and the security of refugee camps in Kenya; and if she will make a statement. [73275]

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Clare Short: The UNHCR programme in Kenya currently assists a refugee population of over 213,000; 129,000 of whom are Somalis and 70,000 are Sudanese. The cost of the programme was over $25.2 million in 2001 (see table below), and has a budget of $18.1 million in 2002.

UNHCR's programme aims to provide international protection and humanitarian assistance to refugees in Kenya while exploring durable solutions to assist refugees, mainly voluntary repatriation to their country of origin.

Unfortunately local integration of refugees is extremely limited, due to limited freedom of movement, access to resources, markets and job opportunities. In addition, continued conflict in refugees' countries of origin seriously limits opportunities for repatriation. As a result, UNHCR's main activities, in cooperation with the Government of Kenya (as well as WFP, UNICEF and UNESCO), have been in providing asylum for refugees by guaranteeing their legal protection and physical security; as well as offering income generating activities, refugee employment, education, vocational training and healthcare. UNHCR also offers assistance to refugees who wish to voluntarily repatriate themselves.

The hon. Lady's second question asked if the Secretary of State will make a statement on the UNHCR's resettlement policy in East Africa, with specific reference to Kenya. [73277]

UNHCR's resettlement policy in East Africa, as elsewhere, is to help refugees with particular refugee needs and concerns over repatriation and local integration, to seek asylum in third countries. DFID has not discussed resettlement with UNHCR, the Kenyan Government or refugees.

The hon. Lady's third question asked what links the Secretary of State's Department has with the UNHCR offices in Kenya. [73279]

DFID contributed £550,000 in 2000–01 and a similar amount in 2001–02 to UNHCR's programme in Kenya.

DFID staff based in London and Nairobi undertook a monitoring mission on the UNHCR Kenya programme in January 2000.

The hon. Lady's fourth question asked what discussions the Secretary of State's Department has had with (a) the UNHCR, (b) the Kenyan Government and (c) refugees in Kenya regarding the resettlement of refugees in Kenya. [73276]

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Both DFID and BHC officials in Nairobi are in regular contact with UNHCR Kenya. We continue to monitor closely the refugee situation in the established camps and the border areas of Kenya through regular dialogue with UNHCR officials and other concerned agencies.

The hon. Lady's fifth question asked what action the Secretary of State has taken to counter corruption in the Kenyan offices of the UNHCR. [73280]

Allegations of corruption in UNHCR's offices in Kenya led to the security section of UNHCR undertaking an investigation in December 1999. The report, issued in June 2000, did not substantiate the allegations but recommended further investigation take place. While UNHCR branch officers in Nairobi were following up the allegations, threats were made against three officers. This led to the Inspector General of UNHCR calling in the UN Office of Investigation and Oversight Services (OIOS) in October 2000 to conduct an investigation.

The findings of the OIOS investigation suggested that outside expertise was needed. Hence in December OIOS approached 4 donor governments (including the UK) to provide qualified staff to participate in an international investigation task force. DFID provided (on secondment) the services of a Detective Chief Inspector. The UK cost of this secondment was £13,117. Overseas costs were met by UNHCR.

The hon. Lady's sixth question asked if the Secretary of State will provide a breakdown of the UNHCR's spending in Kenya. [73278]

The table below lists UNHCR's expenditure in Kenya for the period 2000–01.

Protection, monitoring and co-ordination1,884,948
Community services306,195
Crop production5,062
Domestic needs/ household support1,133,801
Health / nutrition1,833,852
Income generation52,598
Legal assistance1,392,474
Operational support to agencies2,232,028
Shelter / other infrastructure466,866
Transport / logistics1,180,706
Transit accounts4,193
Instalments with implementing partners3,405,684
Programme Support7,881,027
Unliquidated obligations1,468,447


UNHCR Global report 2001 (page 171).

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development when she last visited Kenya; whom she met; what discussions she had; and when she next intends to visit Kenya. [73274]

Clare Short: I last made a substantive visit to Kenya in August 1998. I have visited the country very briefly on a number of occasions since then. I have no specific plans to visit again. The Under-Secretary visited Kenya earlier this month as part of her own induction programme. She met a wide range of people, including the Minister of Finance, and visited programmes supported by DFID. Her

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discussions focused on the prospects for poverty reduction in Kenya, and how the international community, including DFID, can best support Kenya's efforts to achieve it.

Human Rights (Rwanda)

Mr. Love: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what activities are being undertaken in (a) Rwanda and (b) Burundi by her Department to improve the human rights situation; and if she will make a statement. [73010]

Clare Short: DFID is the largest bilateral donor to Rwanda providing £30 million a year. Our programme is set within the framework of a Memorandum of Understanding which includes commitments in areas such as human rights and governance.

The human rights situation in Rwanda has improved for the majority of individuals since 1997. The establishment of the Human Rights Commission and the Commission for National Unity and Reconciliation are evidence of the Government of Rwanda's commitment to eliminating human rights abuses and to the reconciliation process. The Government have held successful local level elections in 2001 supported by DFID, but the end of the transitional period brings new challenges as Rwanda moves towards full national elections in 2003. DFID are supporting work to draft a new constitution.

We believe that the Government's commitment to end the cycle of ethnic tension, to maintain stability within Rwanda, to eliminate poverty and improve the lives of all Rwandans is genuine and their policies are moving them in the right direction. However, we monitor closely reports of human rights abuses and raise our concerns with GoR accordingly.

New Partnership for Africa's Development

Mr. Lazarowicz: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will provide support for the British Council's plans to develop its programmes in support of the New Partnership for Africa's Development.[73196]

Clare Short: The British Council's funding is provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Any plans for developing programmes in support of the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) would therefore be for the FCO's consideration.

Land Reform Programmes

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will list the countries in which her Department supports land reform programmes. [73282]

Clare Short: In the current financial year DFID is supporting land reform activities in the countries listed below. Further details of these projects are available from the Department's on-line database at Please note that in the last two cases—South Africa (where we provided an earlier phase of support), and the SADC region, our support to land reform is currently in the design stage.

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GuyanaMozambiqueSouth Africa

The hon. Lady's second question asked if the Secretary of State will list the countries in which her Department operates a sector wide approach to development. [73283]

My Department supports one or more sector wide approaches in a number of aid dependent Low Income Countries, including in Bangladesh, Ghana, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.

The hon. Lady's third question asked what the Secretary of State is doing to promote good government in Ethiopia. [73287]

We are currently developing a partnership with the Ethiopian Government and as part of this process we are formulating our Country Assistance Plan for Ethiopia. Our Plan will be based on the Ethiopian Government's Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper, which includes a commitment to good governance. We are considering support through our programme for Civil Service Reform and capacity building of local government. We also have a Partnership Fund, which has the objective of increasing awareness, accountability and responsiveness of government to the public and civil society.

The hon. Lady's fourth question asked what assistance the Secretary of State's Department has provided (a) bilaterally and (b) multilaterally to the EPRDF in Ethiopia in each of the last five years. [73284]

The DFID bilateral programme has not provided any financial or technical assistance to the EPRDF in any of the last five years. We are not aware of any specific multilateral contributions direct to the EPRDF.

The hon. Lady's fifth question asked what steps the Secretary of State's Department is taking to encourage Ethiopia to fulfil its obligations under the Convention of the Child. [73285]

Implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), which has been signed by Ethiopia, is monitored by the Committee of the Rights of the Child, who examine reports submitted by States' such as Ethiopia. Under the CRC, UNICEF has a legal obligation to promote and protect child rights by supporting the work of the Committee. DFID has been supporting UNICEF to increase its capacity to apply human rights principles and the provisions of the Convention in the design and implementation of its programmes. UNICEF has been testing out rights-based programming in East Africa including Ethiopia. DFID is also funding a project to rehabilitate street children into their communities and to raise awareness of children's issues in Addis Ababa.

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