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5 Jun 2003 : Column 514W—continued

HIV/AIDS

Mr. Key: To ask the Minister of State, Department for International Development what assessment the Department has made of the latest report by the Global HIV Prevention Working Group; and if he will make a statement. [116194]

Hilary Benn: We welcome the report by the Global Working Group, Access to HIV prevention: Closing The Gap. It is the first attempt to assess the gap between HIV prevention needs and existing provision.

While the report emphasises the increased need for prevention, it also recognises that prevention works best where care and treatments are also available. DFID has been working towards a combined approach of prevention and care for several years and will continue to support Governments in improving their overall provision of services in the future.

The recommendations made in the report echo DFID's existing HIV/AIDS priorities, in support of which we have invested over £250 million in 2002–03. DFID has also committed £14 million to the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI), £16 million to the Medical Research Council's Microbicides Development Programme, and £3 million annually to UNAIDS. In addition, we 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. DFID as the second largest contributor to the Global Fund has also just increased its contribution by $80 million to a total of $280million in recognition of the need to accelerate efforts to reduce infections globally.

Malawi

Dr. Tonge: To ask the Minister of State, Department for International Development what discussions he has had with the Government of Malawi concerning alternative care for AIDS patients outside acute general hospitals. [116406]

Hilary Benn: DFID officials are in close and regular contact with the Malawi National AIDS Commission, the Ministry of Health and Population and other donors on care required for AIDS patients. The UK has

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contributed $280 million to the Global Fund for AIDS, TB and Malaria. The fund has agreed to allocate Malawi $198 million over five years. Intended uses for these resources include antiretroviral treatments, and prevention of mother to child transmission.

TREASURY

EU Information Campaigns

Mr. Heathcoat-Amory: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement on the monitoring by his Department of the application of European Community guidelines on impartiality in EU funding of information campaigns. [114468]

Mr. MacShane: I have been asked to reply.

The European Commission's proposed Information and Communication Strategy for the EU, adopted on 2 July 2002, highlights the importance of neutral, factual information. The Copenhagen European Council has also stressed that information provided for the public on EU activities should be objective.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office keeps itself fully aware of the nature of the European Commission's communications activities via regular contact with the European Commission's Representation to the UK.

Export Controls

Mr. Gardiner: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what formal mechanisms there are for maintaining contact between HM Customs and Excise and the DTI on the issue of export controls. [117019]

John Healey: HM Customs and Excise have regular contact with the DTI's Export Control Organisation on a range of export control matters, including the interdepartmental Restricted Enforcement Unit, which meets fortnightly. This includes a Memorandum of Understanding to provide advice on whether or not a licence is required in cases where goods have been detained by Customs.

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Heroin (Afghanistan)

Dr. Tonge: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many HM Customs and Excise personnel are (a) employed to provide advice and assistance to the Afghan Transitional Administration and (b) employed to gather intelligence and assist in the interdiction of heroin along transit routes from Afghanistan to the UK. [116420]

John Healey: HM Customs and Excise currently employs five staff who work exclusively on providing advice and assistance to the Afghan Transitional Administration, and a further 14 for whom this work forms part of their duties.

It would not be appropriate to disclose how many personnel are deployed gathering intelligence and assisting in the interdiction of heroin along transit routes from Afghanistan and the UK. Exemptions 4 (Law enforcement and legal proceedings) and 7 (Effective management and operations of the public service) apply.

Leisure/Hospitality Sector

Mr. Gardiner: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what contribution the leisure and hospitality sector has made to the UK economy in each of the last five years. [117001]

John Healey: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician. I have asked him to reply.

Letter from Len Cook to Mr. Gardiner, dated 5 June 2003:



Contribution of hotels, catering etc and recreational services to the UK economy, 1995–2000

199519961997199819992000
GVA of hotels, catering etc and recreational services (£ million)32,15835,63240,03944,19547,81051,659
Percentage of total GVA5.05.25.65.86.06.2
GVA total (£ million)639,908679,620720,692762,363796,273838,065

Pay

Mr. Moore: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the average weekly earnings (a) including and (b) excluding overtime are for full-time workers in (i) Scotland, (ii) each of the unitary local authority areas in Scotland and (iii) Great Britain for (A) all manual, (B) all non-manual, (C) all workers, (D) male manual, (E) male non-manual, (F) all male workers, (G) female manual, (H) female non-manual and (I) all female workers. [116060]

John Healey: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician. I have asked him to reply.

Letter from Len Cook to Mr. Moore, dated 5 June 2003:




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Mr. Moore: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what percentage of full-time workers in (a) Scotland, (b) each of the unitary local authority areas in Scotland and (c) Great Britain earn (i) including and (ii) excluding overtime less than (A) £280.00 per week, (B) £210.00 per week and (C) £158.76 per week in the categories (1) male manual, (2) male non-manual, (3) all male workers, (4) female manual, (5) female non-manual, (6) all female workers, (7) all manual, (8) all non-manual and (9) all workers. [116061]

John Healey: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician. I have asked him to reply.

Letter from Len Cook to Mr. Moore, dated 5 June 2003:





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