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25 Nov 2002 : Column 26W—continued


Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what the Government are doing to equip hospitals in Afghanistan. [80560]

Clare Short: We are directing the majority of our funds through UN agencies, major NGOs and the World Bank Trust Fund. We have provided £2 million to the World Health Organisation; in addition to this some of the funds directed through NGOs have been specifically for the area of healthcare, including the provision of primary healthcare, and the emergency restoration of healthcare facilities.

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assistance is being provided to hospitals in Afghanistan to ensure they have regular supplies of electricity. [80570]

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Clare Short: A number of major donors, including the World Bank and the EC are providing support for urban infrastructure. The German Government are also supporting power supply rehabilitation. In order to avoid replication of work we are not working in this sector although we have provided over £2 million for healthcare needs through the World Health Organisation and NGOs.

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much money her Department has given to the Government of Afghanistan to pay the salaries of public servants. [80571]

Clare Short: We have contributed £10 million ($15 million) into the Afghan Reconstruction Trust Fund (ARTF), out of an estimated total for 2002–03 of $140 million; of this, some 90 per cent. will help meet Afghanistan's recurrent costs. The Afghanistan budget is $460 million, of which an estimated 80 per cent. will be for salaries. The UK funding for the ARTF is untied and unearmarked.

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what proportion of the money her Department pledged to Afghanistan for this year has been disbursed; and when she expects to disburse the remainder 100 per cent. of the money. [80573]

Clare Short: At Tokyo in January we pledged £200 million to Afghanistan over five years, of this we have allocated £65 million for the current financial year. So far this year we have disbursed just over £37 million (57 per cent.). We expect to disburse a further £12.5 million to address Afghanistan's arrears with International Financial Institutions by the end of November. The remainder of the £65 million will be disbursed by the end of the financial year.

Julie Morgan: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what Britain's contribution is to international funding for the reconstruction of Afghanistan; how much Britain has agreed to contribute in each of the next three years; and how much has already been committed. [80719]

Clare Short [holding answer 18 November]: At the meeting on the reconstruction of Afghanistan, held in Tokyo in January this year the UK pledged 200 million to Afghanistan over the next five years. For the current financial year we have allocated 65 million for both reconstruction and humanitarian needs. In addition to

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this there is 1.8 million available from the mine action programme for specific work to address the problem of land mines in Afghanistan and a further 18 million in the Global Conflict Prevention Pool. We are currently considering resources for future financial years in our Resource Allocation Round process.

African Action Plan

Tony Baldry: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how the African Action Plan highlighted in the Queen's Speech will be implemented; and whether this will result in her Department increasing the amount of aid from the UK recently announced for NEPAD. [82075]

Clare Short: We have published an Implementation Plan setting out how we will take forward the G8 Africa Action Plan. This sets out key milestones and objectives to be achieved in the run up to the next G8 Summit in Evian. My Department is responsible for coordinating UK implementation of the G8 Africa Action Plan in close co-operation with other Government Departments. Baroness Amos is continuing to pursue the UK agenda within the G8 in her role as the Prime Minister's Africa Personal Representative. A progress report on the Africa Action Plan will be presented by Africa Personal Representatives at the next Summit. The Prime Minister has committed the UK to a £1 billion bilateral programme in Africa by 2006.

Arms Sales

Dr. Jenny Tonge: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what military equipment has been purchased with funds from the Africa Conflict Prevention Pool in each year since the programme's inception, indicating in each case the amount spent and the end uses. [82240]

Clare Short: The Africa Conflict Prevention Pool became operational in FY 2001–02. The aim of the Pool is to improve the effectiveness of the UK's contribution to conflict prevention, reduction and peacekeeping in sub-Saharan Africa. The Pool covers the direct conflict prevention activities of the Department for International Development, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Ministry of Defence, where a joint approach adds value.

Details of military equipment purchased with Pool funding, since the inception of the Pool, are as follows:

RecipientFinancial YearCostDescription
Sierra Leone2001–02£5.27 millionPersonal equipment, light weapons, ammunition, communications equipment and vehicles for the Sierra Leone armed forces
Kenya2001–02£14,000Thirty-five (35) mine detectors for Kenyan armed forces deploying as part of the UN Mission to Ethiopia and Eritrea

All of the above equipment was provided by the Ministry of Defence. The equipment for Sierra Leone was provided as part of the UK programme of support for the Sierra Leone Government. The purpose was to assist in training and equipping the armed forces and was announced in Parliament at the time.

The equipment to Kenya was provided in March 2002 along with demining training for the Kenyan armed forces prior to their deployment to UNMEE.

Developing Countries

Mr. Llwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development (1) what initiatives are being

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pursued by her Department to provide targeted support and protection for local producers of developing countries in order for them to benefit from international trade; and if she will make a statement; [82521]

Clare Short: Poor country producers can best be helped through a combination of supportive policies and programmes in country and significant trade liberalisation in areas of importance to them. Through the Doha Development Agenda agreed at the fourth WTO ministerial in November 2001, the UK is arguing for significant reductions in trade distorting policies and greater access for developing country products to OECD markets, particularly for agricultural goods and light manufactures.

Specifically, the UK Government support the Integrated Framework, which aims to mainstream trade issues into a country's growth and poverty reduction strategies. This ensures that the right sort of complementary policies i.e. rural roads, access to credit or skill training, can be developed to reduce the impact on poor people of changes in their livelihoods and enable small producers to take advantage of new trading opportunities.

My Department provides support designed to meet the different circumstances and needs of a broad range of producers throughout the developing world. These include interventions designed to improve food security as well as to support the delivery of improved rural services. We also provide support to international agencies and works to enhance the impact of interventions made by these institutions. Details of our initiatives can be found in the 2002 Departmental Report, a copy of which is in the Library of the House.


Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what (a) the European Union's and (b) her Department's response has been to the drought and food shortages in Ethiopia. [80576]

Clare Short: So far we have made food and non-food humanitarian commitments of some £12.3 million in calendar year 2002. The EC has committed euro 23 million for 97,000 metric tonnes of food aid to cover food needs until the end of 2002. In addition to the food aid provision the EC has approved a euro 4 million programme of humanitarian aid for the victims of drought, which includes providing water and sanitation, supporting health services and providing targeted supplementary and therapeutic feeding. DFID provides funding for nearly 20 per cent. of EC assistance.

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how (a) the UK Government and (b) the European Union is responding to the most recent appeal from the World Food Programme for food for Ethiopia. [80602]

Clare Short: The World Food Programme considers current pledges of food aid to be sufficient to meet needs until mid-January 2003, but they remain concerned

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about prospects for February and March, when needs are expected to be high. In terms of physical stocks the Ethiopian Food Security Reserve is expected on current estimates to have sufficient food available until April. The European Commission has informed us that they have made available euro 23 million, of which the DFID share is nearly euro 4.6 million, which is equivalent to 97,000 metric tonnes of food aid, to cover food needs until the end of 2002. This total includes euro 5 million, which is equivalent to 13,000 metric tonnes of food aid, to be provided through the World Food Programme. The Commission is also looking at the best ways to provide timely and effective assistance to address the emerging food crisis in 2003.

We are taking careful note of the WFP and Government of Ethiopia reports and appeals and keeping the situation under continuous review. As always we remain committed to playing our part in the international response to humanitarian need.

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