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Humanitarian Aid

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development for how many protracted humanitarian crises the UK Government is providing aid (a) directly and (b) through the UN. [106143]

Clare Short: My Department is providing aid to 13 protracted humanitarian crises, some of the funding goes through the UN agencies and other humanitarian agencies.

Infant Malnutrition

Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what information she has collated on the number of children aged under five years who have died of malnutrition in each of the last five years in (a) Afghanistan, (b) Cote d'Ivoire, (c) Ethiopia, (d) Iraq, (e) Malawi, (f) Palestine and (g) Pakistan. [106530]

Clare Short: Malnutrition is rarely a direct cause of death in children. However, it is frequently an underlying cause, and estimates suggest it is a contributing factor in over 50 per cent. of all deaths in

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children under five years of age. This is because malnourished children have lowered resistance to infection, and are more likely to die from common diseases such as diarrhoea and pneumonia.

Because it is normally a contributing factor rather than a direct cause, reliable figures on numbers of deaths from malnutrition are difficult to obtain, and tend not to reflect the true nature of the situation. The proportion of children under the age of five years who are underweight is generally considered a better measure on nutritional status within a particular country. National data is rarely available on an annual basis, but the most recent figures, and the total number of deaths in children under the age of five years are given in the table for the countries you have requested.

CountryPercentage of under-fives underweight (1995–2000)Under 5 mortality rate (per 1000 live births), 2000
Cote d'Ivoire21173


Unicef and WDI


Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development which aid projects her Department supports in Iran. [106131]

Clare Short: Since 1999 my Department has been supporting the work of the AMAR International Charitable Foundation in Iran for medical and sanitary support for Iraqi refugees from the southern marsh area of Iraq, both in and outside of designated refugee camps. This support so far has been for a total of £1.45 million.


Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what contingency plans she has to provide reconstruction assistance to Iraq in the event of no further resolution being made by the United Nations relating to reconstruction in Iraq. [106189]

Clare Short: A UN mandate for reconstruction is a legal requirement for UK involvement in significant reform of Iraqi institutions, and a precondition for the engagement of the World bank, the International Monetary Fund and many countries.

Without a UN mandate the UK's assistance would have to be limited to providing humanitarian assistance

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and ensuring the continuity of the civil administration, according to our obligations under the Geneva and Hague conventions governing armed conflict.

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what plans she has to re-establish a logistical distribution team, funded by her Department, to handle the distribution of humanitarian aid in Iraq. [106962]

Clare Short: DFID's policy is to work through partner agencies such as the UN, International Committee of the Red Cross and NGOs who have relevant expertise and local experience in the distribution of humanitarian assistance.

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, if she will make a statement on the humanitarian situation in Basra, Iraq. [106958]

Clare Short: Our daily published reports on the humanitarian situation in Iraq have reported regularly on the situation in Basra and the problems with water supplies.

The World Health Organisation, International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and others are very concerned about the possible health impact of ongoing water supply problems in Basra. We share these concerns. The ICRC are working to try to maintain and improve supplies.

Western Sahara

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assistance she has made available to Saharan people living in refugee camps. [105624]

Clare Short: DFID's assistance to the Saharawi refugees is channelled through contributions to the European Community Humanitarian Office (ECHO). We believe that this collaborative approach towards funding, alongside our international partners, represents the best way of addressing the problems faced by the refugee population.

A global plan for assistance to the Saharawi was agreed by the EC in May last year. This will provide 14.34 million euros (approximately £9 million) of assistance over a 15 month period. This brings the total assistance provided since 1993 to over 95 million euros, including over 79 million euros in food aid programme co-ordinated by ECHO, the World Food Programme and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. Approximately 19 per cent. of this funding comes from my Department's budget.

DFID also supports refugees through UNHCR including, but not specifically, Saharawi in camps in Algeria. My Department signed a four year Institutional Strategy Paper with UNHCR in 2002 which guarantees the agency core funding for each year of the partnership. For 2003 this contribution is £14 million. As this contribution is unearmarked it is difficult to ascertain exactly how much of the £14 million is spent in the context of this specific refugee situation.

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Bus Companies

Ian Stewart: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what percentage of bus companies' income in 2002 was generated from (a) local and (b) national subsidies. [106454]

Mr. Jamieson: Based on statistics for England (including London) in 2001–02, 25 per cent. of total bus company income was provided by local authorities and Transport for London, in the form of subsidy for bus services and reimbursement of concessionary fares. 10 per cent. was provided by my Department in the form of Bus Service Operators Grant (formerly called Fuel Duty Rebate).

Daylight Saving

Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of (a) the change in the number of lives lost per year and (b) the economic benefits if Britain adopted daylight saving. [106672]

Mr. Jamieson: I refer my hon. Friend to my answer of 28 March 2003, Official Report, column 410W.

Departmental Expenditure

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what his estimate is of the expenditure of his Department on newspapers, magazines and periodicals in 2002. [106310]

Mr. Jamieson: I refer the hon. Member to my answer of 15 January 2003, Official Report, column 623W.

Departmental Running Costs

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the running costs in 2002 were of (a) his Ministers private offices, separately identifying expenditure on staff, and (b) his Department. [105990]

Mr. Jamieson: My Department was formed on 29 May 2002. Information in relation departmental running costs for 2002–03 will be published shortly in departmental appropriation and resource accounts.

EU Second Railway Package

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a statement on the progress of the EU Second Railway Package. [107266]

Mr. Jamieson: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given my right hon. Friend, the Minister for Transport, to my hon. Friend the hon. Member for Falkirk East (Mr. Connarty) on the 2 April 2003, Official Report, columns 703–05W.

Maritime and Coastguard Agency

Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many contracts the Maritime and Coastguard Agency has given to independent assessors in the last two years; and what assessors were appointed to the Humber. [106786]

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Mr. Jamieson: The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) appointed an assessor in December 2001 in order to observe the transitional arrangements made by Associated British Ports to overcome the strike by their former pilots on the Humber. His findings are included in the Department's report on the new Humber pilotage service, which was published in April 2002.

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