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19 Sept 2002 : Column 418Wcontinued
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much money was spent by her Department in each year since 199899 on overseas superannuation, referred to on page 98 of the 2002 departmental report. 
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. 
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(3) what links her Department has with the UNHCR offices in Kenya; 
(4) what discussions her Department has had with (a) the UNHCR, (b) the Kenyan Government and (c) refugees in Kenya regarding the resettlement of refugees in Kenya; 
(5) what action she has taken to counter corruption in the Kenyan office of the UNHCR; 
(6) what the UNHCR has spent in the last 12 months in Kenya. 
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.
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 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. 
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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.
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.
|Protection, monitoring and co-ordination||1,884,948|
|Domestic needs/ household support||1,133,801|
|Health / nutrition||1,833,852|
|Operational support to agencies||2,232,028|
|Shelter / other infrastructure||466,866|
|Transport / logistics||1,180,706|
|Instalments with implementing partners||3,405,684|
UNHCR Global report 2001 (page 171).
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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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. 
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.
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.
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.
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 www.narsis.org. Please note that in the last two casesSouth 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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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. 
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.
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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