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14 Mar 2003 : Column 475W—continued



Mr. Key: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what the (a) timescale and (b) process are for the release of her Department's pledged funds to Burundi; and if she will make a statement. [103112]

Clare Short: At the most recent Donors Roundtable Meeting on Burundi held in Geneva last November 2002 we reconfirmed that although the UK would not become a substantial bilateral donor to Burundi we would play our part in support of others, particularly the multilateral agencies. This includes continuing our existing bilateral assistance (mainly humanitarian assistance, work with the media, HIV/AIDS prevention and peace building). We also agreed to consider an additional contribution of US$1 million to the World Bank Multilateral Debt Trust Fund. We are in the process of releasing these funds to the World bank. Our total support to Burundi in the current financial year will be some £2.2 million.

Democratic Republic of Congo

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what her Department is doing to promote peace in the Democratic Republic of Congo. [102744]

Clare Short: I have been closely involved in supporting the peace process in the Democratic Republic of Congo. In addition DFID has provided support to a number of peace-building initiatives in support of the Lusaka and Pretoria agreements. We have committed $25 million to the $330 million World Bank Multi-Country Demobilisation and Reintegration Programme for the Great Lakes region. We are assisting the UN's peacekeeping interventions through support to Radio Okapi, the MONUC linked radio station in the DRC. We have supported community based peace-building projects managed by the Christian Aid and

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CAFOD in Eastern DRC, and provided funds for the peace-building work of Life and Peace Institute and International Alert. We have also provided some limited technical assistance to the office of the Facilitator in the Inter-Congolese Dialogue.

Empowering Women

Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much development aid was paid by her Department to schemes aimed at empowering women in (a) 1998, (b) 2000 and (c) 2002; and if she will list the projects concerned. [102236]

Clare Short: Because women make up 70 per cent. of the world's poor DFID puts women's empowerment at the heart of its work, actively pursuing it in the mainstream of all development activities. It begins with girls' access to basic education and completion of primary schooling; support for civil society organisations that represent women's needs and advocate for women in decision-making roles; and education of the whole community about the rights of women and girls.

DFID expenditure on support including women's empowerment and gender equality as a principal or significant objective is available by financial year:

£ million

A project list cannot be provided without incurring disproportionate cost.

Global Health Fund

Mr. Key: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development (1) if she will list the sources of money allocated to the Global Health Fund; and if she will make a statement; [103107]

Clare Short: The primary role of the fund is to provide drugs and commodities for the prevention and treatment of AIDS, TB and Malaria. DFID have pledged $200 million over five years to the fund, $80 million of which has been disbursed. In addition DFID have committed over £1.5 billion since 1997 to support the development of health systems in poorer countries. Strengthening such systems is vital if drugs are to be safely and sustainably supplied to the poor. Wherever possible the Global Fund should be providing support behind strategies that help deliver sustainable improvements in health care. The fund has strong founding principles in this regard, but performance to date in this regard has been mixed. Our future support for the Global Fund will depend on its effectiveness. It is one of several possible instruments designed to improve basic health care in poor countries.

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Sources of money allocated to the Global Fund can be found on its website:

My Department is in frequent contact with other international donors and has repeatedly stressed the need for others to make multi year funding pledges to the Global Fund to fight AIDS, TB and Malaria as DFID has done.

The figure of US $7–10 billion per annum is a UNAIDS estimate of the total additional resources required to tackle HIV/AIDS. As Kofi Annan has made clear it is not a target for the fund.

Overseas Aid

Norman Lamb: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much aid the British Government has disbursed (a) in each of the last two years and (b) so far this year to (i) Uganda, (ii) Rwanda and (iii) the Democratic Republic of Congo. [102347]

Clare Short: In each of the last two financial years, the British Government have distributed aid to Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Total UK expenditure for each country, including the estimates for 2002–03, is as follows. As the hon. Gentleman will know, long-term expenditure in DRC is confined to humanitarian and conflict resolution interventions. Development is impossible without the establishment of peace and legitimate government. We

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are pressing President Kabila to agree to the installation of the Transitional government so that debt relief can be agreed and reconstruction can begin.

Country/year£ million
2002–03 Estimate62,500
2002–03 Estimate35,800
2002–03 Estimate14,500

South America

Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much development aid was paid to the South American continent in (a) 1998, (b) 2000 and (c) 2002; and which country was the main receiver of this aid in each of those years. [102235]

Clare Short: DFID's statistics are available by financial year only. The latest year available is 2001–02. EC statistics are by calendar year.

Financial yearUK bilateral assistance to South America(£ million). Includes DFID programmes, CDC investments and debt reliefLargest financial recipient of UK bilateral assistance in South AmericaDFID share of EC assistance to South America (£ million)Largest financial recipient of EC assistance in South America
1997–9852.406Bolivia12.6 (1997)Bolivia (1997)
1999–200075.355Bolivia20.5 (1999)Peru (1999)
2001–0251.238Bolivia38.4 (2001)Argentina (2001)



Dr. Tonge: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department when the hon. Member for Richmond Park will receive a reply to her letter of 14 January 2002 regarding the Pedler Family Judicial Trustee case. [99930]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The Lord Chancellor replied personally to Dr. Tonge's letter of 14 January 2002 on 28 April 2002.

Abducted Children

Keith Vaz: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what steps have recently been taken by her Department to provide and improve statistics of cases of child abduction. [102237]

Ms Rosie Winterton: I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave him on 7 January 2003, Official Report, column 66W. I would only add that the statistical information collected by the Child Abduction Unit is submitted to the Permanent Bureau of the Hague Conference annually for publication on their website.

Keith Vaz: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department (1) what steps are taken by her Department to help parents with abducted children to gain access to their children held abroad; [102239]

Ms Rosie Winterton: Article 21 of the 1980 Hague Child Abduction Convention allows applications via the designated Central Authorities for arrangements to secure effective exercise of rights of access. The primary remedy, however, is the return of the child, and applications under Article 21 will generally be deferred until the return application is concluded. I am satisfied that the Child Abduction Unit discharges its functions on behalf of the Lord Chancellor as Central Authority for England, Wales and Northern Ireland in compliance with the requirements of the 1980 Hague Convention. The Child Abduction Unit ensures that all parents who have not obtained the child's return under the return

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provisions of the Convention, are advised of the possibility of seeking access through Article 21 of the Convention. The Unit will transmit any application made, whether for return of the child or for access rights, to its counterpart in the other country, monitor the case, liaise with all interested parties and assist as necessary. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office will also provide appropriate consular assistance. The decision on any application is a matter for the court to which the application is addressed.

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