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2 Dec 2002 : Column 532W—continued

Public Private Partnership

Gregory Barker: Asked the Secretary of State for International Development, pursuant to her answer of 11 July 2002, Official Report, column 451W, if she will list the alternative ways her Department is exploring to achieve the objective of the CDC Public Private Partnership. [71208]

Clare Short: I refer to my Written Statement about CDC, on 28 November 2002, Official Report, columns 36–38WS.

Southern Africa

Joan Ruddock: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what (a) financial and (b) other aid the Government have given for the southern African crisis; when the contributions were made; what conditions were attached to such contributions; and what the recipient (i) countries and (ii) agencies were. [83545]

Clare Short: We have made the following commitments for the humanitarian crisis in southern Africa, since September 2001. In addition, we estimate that our contribution to commitments by the European Commission to date is approximately £21.42 million. No special conditions are attached to our contributions:

Date/countryDescriptionTotal (£ million)
September 2001
ZimbabweNGO feeding programme4.0
ZimbabweWFP emergency appeal3.5
MalawiTargeted inputs programme3.75
January-May 2002
MalawiNGO feeding programme4.4
MalawiWinter inputs programme1.2
June 2002
ZimbabweWFP regional emergency feeding operation7.0
LesothoWFP regional emergency feeding operation1.56
MalawiWFP regional emergency feeding operation5.0
SwazilandWFP regional emergency feeding operation0.25
ZambiaWFP regional emergency feeding operation5.0
ZambiaNGO food for work programme1.02
RegionWFP logistical support in Johannesburg regional hob, Lesotho and Zimbabwe0.51
RegionSADC vulnerability assessments to improve targeting0.2
RegionIFRC feeding HIV/AIDS affected people2.5
RegionWHO regional health operation0.13
MalawiTargeted inputs programme6.8
ZimbabweNGO agricultural inputs5.0
ZimbabweWHO essential drugs and medicines2.5
September 2002
ZimbabweNGO feeding programme16.0
Malawi/regionNacala rail-link4.1
October 2002
ZambiaAgricultural recovery through NGOs and FAO1.5
ZambiaImproved nutrition programme1.2
ZambiaSupport to the health sector0.2
RegionOCHA southern African humanitarian information service0.11
RegionSouthern Africa humanitarian crisis unit for monitoring and liaison0.5
LesothoLivelihoods recovery through agriculture programme1.0
ZimbabweEpidemic preparedness1.2
ZimbabweImproved nutrition programme1.1
November 2002
RegionSADC vulnerability assessments0.2
ZambiaWFP EMOP3.5
LesothoWFP EMOP0.5
Total since September 2001Humanitarian assistance and recovery programmes85.43

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Mr. Dawson: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what plans she has to publish a country strategy paper on Sudan. [84051]

Clare Short: The UK has not had a development programme in Sudan for some years because of the on-going conflict. However, in line with progress made towards peace, we are now planning for a possible development programme in Sudan, to be implemented when there is a comprehensive agreement. This will be supported by the appropriate strategy document, drawn up after full consultation. In the first instance, this document may not be a full Country Assistance Plan, but an interim strategy, which would develop as our programme develops.


Joan Ruddock : To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what help the Government is giving to Zambia to source non-GM food. [83544]

Clare Short: I have made clear to the Government of Zambia that I believe their decision on GM is ill advised and will make it more expensive and difficult to provide food to those who are starving in Zambia. We are nevertheless doing all we can to try to ensure that those in need are provided for.

DFID has provided £8.5 million to the World Food Programme to source food for the humanitarian pipeline and plans to provide £0.7 million to NGOs for the procurement and distribution of supplementary nutritional food supplies.

DFID's support to NGOs and International Organisations for conservation farming and drought recovery programmes will support the supply of non-GM food at the next harvest.

Joan Ruddock: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what analysis the Government has made of food availability in Zambia, in particular the availability of cassava; and whether the Government is supporting efforts to get such foods to areas affected by crop failures. [83546]

Clare Short: DFID has been working with the Government of the Republic of Zambia (GRZ) and the World Food Programme (WFP) to determine the availability of food for humanitarian distribution to those in most need.

Through its annual crop forecasts, GRZ has reported a surplus of cassava in the north where cassava is a major staple food for most communities. The redistribution of cassava to drought affected areas in the south is difficult for logistical, social and economic reasons. GRZ is using available funds to purchase surplus maize from the north rather than cassava, as this is the staple crop and preferred food for the south.

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DFID has provided £8.5 million to the WFP to source food imports into Zambia and is working closely with GRZ and WFP to improve the distribution of food stocks existing in the country.


Dr. Tonge: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what plans she has for food aid aerial drops in Zimbabwe. [83731]

Clare Short: Aerial drops are very much a measure of last resort, with risks to all involved. Food cannot be targeted reliably, and it is an expensive option. We will continue to use and strengthen the distribution systems already in place, which are working well in very difficult conditions. One of the major problems in dealing with the Zimbabwe crises is that the World Food Programme appeal for Southern Africa is only 56 per cent. funded and there is not enough food to distribute.


Arts Organisations

Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many educational sessions undertaken by arts organisations took place in (a) 1998–99, (b) 1999–2000, (c) 2000–01 and (d) 2001–02; and if she will make a statement. [83752]

Dr. Howells: In 2001–02, arts organisations funded by the Arts Council of England and the Regional Arts Boards provided more than 200,000 education sessions and workshops for adults and children.

In addition to this, from April 2002 we are investing £40 million in Creative Partnerships. This programme is bringing together schools and cultural institutions across 16 deprived areas of England, enabling young people and their teachers to work on sustained creative projects.

There are no figures available for earlier years.

Public Service Broadcasting

Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what measures she has taken to ensure public service broadcasters sustain quality and range of output; and if she will make a statement. [83777]

Dr. Howells: The Communications White Paper affirmed the Government's commitment to maintaining the role of public service broadcasting in the digital age. The Communications Bill implements this commitment, by setting out a general public service broadcasting remit which applies to all public service broadcasters,

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including the BBC. It will also establish individual public service broadcasting remits for Channel 3, Channel 4 and Channel 5, combining specific obligations for each broadcaster with a general obligation to contribute to the overall public service remit. OFCOM will report on the fulfilment of the overall public service broadcasting remit no less frequently than every five years. OFCOM will have backstop powers to intervene, up to and including removal of freedom to self-regulate, should a licensed broadcaster fail to fulfil its individual remit, or its contribution to the overall remit.

Digital Television

John Thurso: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what assessment her Department has made of the impact of analogue switch-off on remote rural areas. [83718]

Dr. Howells: The Government are committed to ensuring that terrestrial analogue broadcasting signals are maintained until: everyone who can currently get the main public service broadcasting channels in analogue form can receive them on digital systems; switching to digital is an affordable option for the vast majority of people; and as a target indicator of affordability, 95 per cent. of consumers have access to digital equipment. The Digital Television Action Plan tasks the Government to determine and agree a target level of UK coverage for digital terrestrial public services post-switchover. We have consulted on this issue and are now considering our preferred spectrum planning option. Details of the consultation are available on the website:

John Thurso: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if she will exempt those in remote rural areas from the licensing fee following analogue switch-off if they are unable to receive digital television. [83719]

Dr. Howells: A television licence is required to install or use a television receiver to watch a television programme service on any platform. The licence fee is a payment for permission to receive television broadcasts and not for the service provided and is payable in full, irrespective of the use made of that service and the quality of reception. The Government have no plans to exempt viewers from the licence fee depending on the programme services available to them.

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