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4 Dec 2002 : Column 853Wcontinued
John Barrett: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will provide financial assistance for the small scale food security projects proposed by the Red Crescent Society in Mauritania. 
John Barrett: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what evidence has been collected by her Department indicating the potential for a resurgence in the Rinderpest livestock disease in Africa. 
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Investigations by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, Operation Lifeline Sudan and the Pan-African Programme for the Control of Epizootics (PACE) indicate that eradication campaigns have now been successful in removing persistent foci of Rinderpest virus in Southern Sudan, although definitive confirmation is not yet possible. The main challenge is therefore the South Somali pastoral ecosystem that has shown itself to have the potential to infect populations in both Kenya and Tanzania. Unregulated tradeparticularly the Informal' trade routescould potentially export the disease further afield.
In addition to the funds that the UK provides to pan-African Programme for the Control of Epizootics (PACE) by way of the EC, DFID also directly funds the Community-based Animal Health and Participatory Epidemiology unit of the African Union's Inter-African Bureau for Animal Resources. This unit is developing community-based animal heath delivery and surveillance systems which enable rinderpest vaccination and early warning of potential outbreaks to be carried out in the remote areas where rinderpest has persisted.
John Barrett: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what precautionary steps are being taken to ensure the trade of cattle across the Red Sea does not result in the spread of Rinderpest disease. 
Clare Short: The sanitary control of livestock imports remains the responsibility of importing countries. Saudi Arabia has banned the import of cattle from Somalia, but informal trade, which is much less susceptible to regulation, probably persists across the Red Sea. Efforts are therefore needed to identify and control the persistence of Rinderpest virus at source. To this end DFID and the EC have been working in partnership with the African Union's Bureau for Animal Resources, the EC-funded pan-African Programme for the Control of Epizootics (PACE) programme and the Office International des Epizooties (the O.I.E.the world organisation for Animal Health) to assist African countries in Rinderpest eradication, and subsequently in meeting the requirements of the O.I.E. 'Pathway', which leads to international recognition of Rinderpest freedom for the benefit of importing countries.
In particular, through its DFID-funded Community Based Animal Health and Participatory Epidemiology (CAPE) initiative AU/IBAR has developed service delivery systems that are capable of delivering mass vaccination in marginal areas such as the Somali pastoral eco-system, even in the presence of conflict, and of maintaining disease surveillance and early warning systems that feed into national systems.
John Barrett: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment she has made of the latest levels of Rinderpest disease in (a) Southern Somalia and (b) Northern Kenya. 
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Clare Short: Southern Somalia and Northern Kenya together comprise the Somali Xpastoral ecosystem". Following the successes of recent years in eliminating the virus elsewhere, the Somali ecosystem constitutes what is probably the last reservoir of Rinderpest infection in the world.
Through DFID's long-standing involvement in Rinderpest control our understanding of the factors underpinning the disease and its persistence within pastoral ecosystems highlights the importance of several factors. These include:
DFID's direct involvement in efforts to eradicate the virus (which comprises financial support to the African Union's Inter-African Bureau for Animal Resources and partnerships with EU-funded regional disease control programmes) has therefore been complemented by broader programmes in the fields of sustainable development, of vulnerability management through good governance and of conflict resolution.
The fact that the Somali ecosystem is now believed to contain the last remaining foci of the disease underlines the considerable achievements that have been made in the field of Rinderpest eradication in the last fifteen years. The target for global eradication stands at 2010. The indications are that this target is achievable.
Clare Short: We are in close liaison with the Government of Rwanda and other international partners, in discussing provision of support for elections. We have not yet determined the level of support required.
John Barrett: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what action she is taking to ensure children attending schools in Southern Africa are provided with a nutritional meal during their day's work. 
Clare Short: We are funding food through the World Food programme to vulnerable groups in Lesotho, Malawi, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe. As part of these food pipelines, WFP is providing special support to school age children in Malawi and Lesotho to help ensure continued school attendance. WFP is also targeting malnourished children in Malawi with a programme of selective supplementary feeding. In Zimbabwe, WFP is planning to provide high-energy biscuits for school children in the worst affected areas. UNICEF is also providing programmes for supplementary and therapeutic feeding in the region, and is helping to target child-headed households and orphans for humanitarian assistance.
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In addition, in Zimbabwe, DFID has been funding NGOs to provide supplementary feeding for children since September 2001. In October 2002, NGOs funded by DFID provided one protein-fortified maize meal a day for 570,000 under five and primary school children in Zimbabwe. We plan to increase numbers reached to 800,000 each month by the end of the year.
Clare Short: In November 2001 I announced a further £20 million package of support to trade-related capacity building bringing the total commitment since 1998 to £37.8 million. In 200304 DFID will focus our trade-related capacity building on four key objectives:
Mainstreaming trade into national development plans and country poverty reduction strategies
Building sustainable country-level capacity to make good pro-poor trade policy and promote the participation and representation of poor people in trade policy dialogue
Developing the supply-side response to take advantage of market access opportunities.
Clare Short: The circumstances faced by people in Northern Uganda are of grave concern. Humanitarian consequences of the continuing conflict are high, with an estimated 600,000 internally displaced persons and declining levels of food security due to disruption of harvesting and planting seasons. DFID has committed £450,000 so far this year for humanitarian supplies, and we continue to monitor the situation very closely with international partners and the Government of Uganda. We are currently considering additional proposals in the light of recent appeals.
Clare Short: The UK continues to support Uganda's efforts to deal with regional conflicts through dialogue with its neighbours. DFID is also providing assistance for the implementation of the Amnesty Act and the Defence Review, plus support to local civil society to strengthen networking, advocacy and lobbying for peace.
John Barrett: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development (1) what funding has been allocated for (a) World Health Allocation, (b) International Organisation for Migration and (c) United Nations Development Programme, as part of
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the response of her Department to the 2002 United Nations Consolidated Appeal for Uganda; and if she will make a statement; 
Clare Short: DFID is considering the UN Consolidated Appeal as a component of our wider programme of support to Uganda. Resources are allocated to Uganda primarily through Government systems and in support of the Government of Uganda's own Poverty Eradication Action Plan.
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