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Written Answers to Questions

Friday 15 November 2002


Pre-Budget Report

Mr. Ivan Henderson: To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer when he plans to deliver his pre-Budget Report to the House. [81481]

Mr. Gordon Brown: On Wednesday 27 November.


EU Enlargement

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what (a) bilateral, and (b) multilateral aid she will continue to provide to EU candidate countries after accession; how much aid will be given; to which countries; and through which bodies. [78670]

Clare Short: My Department will not have any further responsibility for supporting newly acceding countries to the European Union after accession, either bilaterally or multilaterally.

Food Aid (Africa)

Tony Baldry: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what the level of food security is in (a) Mozambique, (b) Angola, (c) Zambia, (d) Zimbabwe, (e) Malawi and (f) Swaziland; and if she will make a statement. [74614]

Clare Short: National Early Warning Units have estimated cereal requirements in all these countries, except Angola, for the marketing year April 2002 to March 2003. The World Food Programme (WFP) has provided estimates on import progress to 21 October 2002. National figures are detailed in the table.

Metric tonnes

Domestic cereal gap April 2002 to March 2003Commercial and Government importsFood aid deliveredRemaining cereal gap at 21 October 2002

Additional planned imports and pledged food aid will reduce the cereal gap further, but timing of these deliveries remains uncertain. The Southern African Development Community (SADC) is beginning a further series of vulnerability assessments, which will provide revised figures for humanitarian assistance needs to the end of March 2003. These assessments will be available in mid-December. WFP's emergency operation for the southern Africa humanitarian crisis is now 50 per cent. funded, ensuring that its food pipeline to the most vulnerable populations is secure at least until the end of 2002. We continue to press other donors to respond effectively to the crisis, so that the food aid pipeline can be sustained until the next harvest in April 2003.

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The humanitarian situation in Angola is also very serious. Since the ceasefire, aid agencies have been able to reach many thousands more severely malnourished people, and WFP's caseload is expected to reach at least 1.9 million people by the end of the year. WFP's maize stocks for Angola are expected to run out in December unless donors act quickly to replenish the food pipeline. We are working closely with other donors and implementing partners to develop a consensus view on future needs in Angola, and remain at the forefront of diplomatic and political efforts to ensure that adequate levels of humanitarian assistance continue to be delivered.

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what is being done to build food distribution networks in (a) Malawi, (b) Mozambique, (c) Zimbabwe, (d) Zambia, (e) Lesotho and (f) Swaziland. [66178]

Clare Short: WFP has a major role in the regional humanitarian assistance effort. In addition to supporting food procurement, transport and in-country distribution costs within our #18.25 million support for the new regional appeal, DFID has funded logistical experts in the WFP regional office in Johannesburg, and in Zimbabwe and Lesotho national offices to strengthen capacity to plan and manage supply and transport issues.

DFID is active in each country to promote effective co-ordination between international, bilateral and non-governmental organisations to tackle operational constraints. Jointly with other donors, we have urged SADC and regional governments to reduce regulatory and administrative obstacles to food supply for humanitarian and private sector actors alike.

Adam Smith Institute

Dr. Tonge: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many contracts her Department has had with the Adam Smith Institute over the last three years; and if she will break them down by (a) subject and (b) value. [72773]

Clare Short: The information requested is in the following table.

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Project titleValue (#)Country
Support for capacity building in the Ministry of Finance and Central bank1,229,655Afghanistan
Trade training for DFID staff(Bangkok32,328United Kingdom
Trade training for DFID staff20,075United Kingdom
Consultants for Standards, Technical Regulatory Barriers Programme43,990Global(2)
Pilot training and capacity building in international waterhouse law131,174Kyrgyz Republic
Trade enabling agreement(1) 0Global(2)
Communications film for Department of Disinvestments89,500India
Support for public sector undertaking reforms and social safety net in Madhya Pradesh80,000India
PSRC: water privatisation and regulatory study tour54,924Tanzania
Conference on Disinvestment70,000India
Russia trade policy project1,199,041Russia
Lead adviser to Parastatal Sector Reform Commission (PSRC)195,690Tanzania
Seminar on Export Credits and Developing Countries101,035United Kingdom
Rehabilitation of cyclone damaged lift irrigation points in Orissa622,736India
Initial support to the budgetary processes of the Government of Macedonia13,630Macedonia
Medium term programme of Capacity Building for Public Utilities Regulatory Commission636,900Ghana
UK-Ireland privatisation and regulation study tour11,145Tanzania
Additional support to the Privatisation Board106,241Bangladesh
Assistance to the Palestinian Negotiations Affairs Department1,482,776West Bank and Gaza
Technical assistance for public enterprise reform in Orissa2,061,365India
Privatisation Agency support project consultancy308,470Zimbabwe

(1) This is an enabling agreement only, which allows small contracts for individual pieces of work to be set up as and when required. It therefore has no overall commitment.

(2) Non Project specific


EU Aid

Mr. Baron: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions she has had with her EU counterparts regarding the distribution of the EU overseas aid package. [77191]

Clare Short: I have been asked to reply.

I discussed the performance of the EC development programmes with EU Development Ministers at the 30 May Development Council. We agreed that recent reforms had been welcome but that further significant improvement was needed to implement the agreed, poverty-focused Development Policy adopted by Ministers in November 2000. Since then the Development council has been abolished. I will meet EU Development Ministers again at the General Affairs and External Relations Council (GAERC) on 18–19 November.

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Assets Recovery Agency

Mr. Dodds: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1) how much has been seized in Northern Ireland by the Assets Recovery Agency since its formation; [79422]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: I have been asked to reply.

I will write to the hon. Member and place a copy of my letter in the Library.