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Clare Short: HIV/AIDS is one of the most important development challenges facing Africa. My Department committed over #180 million in HIV and sexual health programmes in Africa in 200102. DFID's overall programme in Africa is set to increase from #640 million to #1 billion by 2006, and HIV/AIDS will remain one of our highest priorities for the region.
Internationally, a further US $200 million has been pledged towards the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria, #16 million to support the Microbicides for HIV Prevention Initiative, and #14 million to the IAVI (the international AIDS Vaccine Initiative). Considerable additional resources have also been committed to the United Nations and to civil society organisations to combat this disease and support those already living with it.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent discussions she has had with her French counterparts regarding the impact of agricultural subsidies on development in poor countries; and what these discussions have achieved. 
Clare Short: In June of this year, I wrote to all my EU counterparts on the subject of reform of the common agricultural policy, emphasising the need for this reform as well as for coherence between the objectives of our development co-operation and our other policies which affect developing countries.
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The French Government responded positively, saying that they were in full agreement concerning poverty elimination and sustainable development. However, they indicated that agricultural questions were very complex in France, and that a coherent policy was vital.
In my Department, we are following these matters closely. In July, we took an initiative to invite representatives from all EU Governments to discuss XThe Impact of CAP Reform on Developing Countries". These discussions will continue. There was a similar meeting in Bonn last month, which will be followed up with a further meeting in The Hague in January.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment her Department has made of (a) the treatment of the Karen in Burma and (b) landmines in the Karen region. 
Ethnic minorities, including the Karen, suffer disproportionately from the human rights abuses carried out by the Burmese regime. Continued fighting between the Burmese army and armed Karen groups, which includes the use of mines by both sides, is the cause of on-going suffering among the ordinary people in Karen State.
The European Union ban on high-level contact with Burma and our poor bilateral relationship with the Burmese military regime restrict discussions with the Burmese regime. Contact on important issues does continue. The most recent example of bilateral contact was discussions between embassy officials and Burmese officials regarding the International Code of Conduct against ballistic missile proliferation.
We have on-going dialogue with the United Nations Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Burma and the United Nations Secretary-General's Special Envoy to Burma about human rights abuses in Burma. Together with our European Union partners we annually co-sponsor resolutions on the human rights situation in Burma at both the United Nations General Assembly and the United Nations Commission on Human Rights.
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Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what her Department's response is to the recent UN report into the exploitation of the natural resources of the Democratic Republic of Congo by (a) the Democratic Republic of Congo, (b) Rwanda, (c) Uganda and (d) Zimbabwe. 
Clare Short: We welcome the UN Panel report and are studying its allegations closely both within DFID and with other Departments in Whitehall. We are also considering a substantive response to the report's recommendations.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment her Department has made of the humanitarian situation in East Timor; what financial support her Department provides to East Timor; and which organisations her Department supports that work in East Timor. 
Clare Short: An assessment of the Humanitarian situation in East Timor is included in East Timor's National Development Plan, which was described in my answer to the hon. Member's previous question. Full details of my Department's financial commitments to East Timor between 1999 and 2005 are given in the following table:
|United Nations: 1999 ballot||800,000||800,000|
|Humanitarian and Emergency Relief||6,500,000||6,500,000|
|United Nations Transitional Administration||4,500,000||4,500,000|
|United Nations: Support for 2001 Elections||500,000||500,000|
|World Bank Trust Fund (infrastructure)||8,000,000||8,000,000|
|Support for Developing the National Development Plan (NDP)||300,000||(|
|NDP Implementation 200205||12,000,000||4,000,000|
|OXFAM: Human Resource Development||1,890,000||590,000|
|Civil Society and International NGOs||67,831||25,809|
|Local Civil Society Organisations||450,000||94,579|
|UK share of European Commission Expenditure, 19992005(3)||19,728,000||14,200,000|
(3) Estimated UK attribution at 19 per cent. of EC expenditure in East Timor
Clare Short: Newly independent East Timor faces a number of challenges. The Government have prepared an excellent National Development Plan (NDP), which describes how these challenges will be addressed. The new nation, however, lacks the financial and technical resources to implement the Plan. Until revenues from offshore oil and gas exploitation come on stream, expected to be in 200607, it will be reliant upon financial and technical support from the international community.
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Donors have responded well and the NDP is fully financed for the next three years. It is only five months since independence and too early to judge the impact of the NDP. Initial activities have, however, started and Government, together with donors, will be reviewing progress later this month.
Clare Short: This year my Department will provide grants worth #6.5 million to East Timor. The bulk of these funds, #4 million, is to help the Government of East Timor implement its National Development Plan. The balance comprises residual commitments to UN and World Bank Trust Funds established before Independence, plus #500,000 to support the activities of international and local Non-Governmental Organisations, including OXFAM.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment her Department has made of (a) the health situation, (b) the education situation, (c) the employment situation and (d) poverty alleviation in East Timor. 
develop their National Development Plan (NDP). The plan includes a full analysis of the social and economic challenges facing the new nation, including health, education, employment and poverty, and contains the Government's proposals for addressing these. Donors and the international community have commended East Timor on the quality of the plan.
Donors have pledged sufficient funds to fully implement scheduled NDP activities for the next three years. DFID has contributed #4 million to the NDP this year and expects to contribute a similar amount in each of the next two years.
Clare Short: I met the Prime Minister of East Timor, Dr. Alkatiri, on 26 March this year, and Dr. Horta, the Foreign Minister, on 12 June. I have no further plans to meet members of the Government of East Timor in the current year.
Clare Short: My Department has had no discussions with Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW), nor have we received any proposals from them. The British embassy in Dili has had informal contacts with CSW.
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