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Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence to what extent military operations conducted in Iraq have accelerated the attrition of equipment used for this purpose; and whether the cost of such accelerated attrition is being taken fully into account in calculating and recovering the additional costs of the operations. [112089]

Mr. Ingram: The Ministry of Defence is gathering evidence and assessing the extent to which operations in Iraq have accelerated the attrition of equipment used during the campaign. The need to repair or replace such equipment will be considered on a case by case basis. Where net additional costs are incurred, these would generally be attributable to the costs of operations in Iraq and would be recoverable via the normal procedures.



Mr. Llwyd: To ask the Minister of State, Department for International Development what the budget is for expenditure to rebuild the infrastructure in Afghanistan; and what the corresponding figure was in 2002. [117509]

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Hilary Benn: The Afghan Transitional Authority has produced a National Development Budget providing a comprehensive plan for reconstruction across the country. The Physical Infrastructure budget for 2003 (Afghan year 1382) is US$622.9 million.

This is the first year that a comprehensive central budget has been produced, making a comparison with 2002 difficult. However a figure of US$128 million for 2002 has been calculated as an estimate.

Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Minister of State, Department for International Development what his Department's total budget for Afghanistan has been in each of the last three financial years; what the projected budget is for the year ahead; and how funds have been allocated. [118587]

Hilary Benn: DFID's bilateral support to Afghanistan for refugees, humanitarian and reconstruction support over the last three financial years has been as follows:

Financial Year£ million

At the Ministerial Conference in Tokyo (January 2002) DFID pledged £200 million over five years for humanitarian and reconstruction assistance in

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Afghanistan. For this financial year (2003–04) DFID has a projected programme of £40 million; this may rise to £50 million depending on the success of the Afghan Government's reform of the Public Administration. DFID's priority areas for support include livelihoods and reform of public administration, the economy and the security sector. These sectors have been identified through liaison with the Afghan Government to avoid overlap with other donors and ensure that DFID works in the areas we feel we can provide added value.

In addition to bilateral contributions DFID provides an estimated £40 million a year to Afghanistan through our multilateral contributions.

Mr. Ainsworth: To ask the Minister of State, Department for International Development what role his Department is playing in the reduction of opium poppy output in Afghanistan. [118590]

Hilary Benn: DFID is working with other Whitehall Departments, the Afghan Transitional Authority and the international community to develop and implement a strategy for the sustainable elimination of opium production in Afghanistan.

DFID's main contribution is in supporting alternative livelihoods. The objective is to create opportunities for those currently involved in poppy cultivation to obtain sustainable livelihoods, based on legal activities either in agriculture, small business or employment. DFID's contribution includes £1 million over 2 years to the Aga Khan Foundation in Badahkshan, where they are working to help farmers identify on-farm alternatives to opium before they become drawn in to poppy cultivation. We will also be providing £3.75 million over 4 years to the UN Food and Agricultural Organisation for the development of sustainable agricultural livelihoods in eastern Hazarajat.

We are also providing £2.2 million in technical assistance and training to the Ministry of Rural Reconstruction and Development and other Ministries involved in rural livelihoods to strengthen their capacity to plan, co-ordinate and supervise the development of sustainable livelihoods for all Afghans, including those involved in poppy cultivation.

AIDS (Africa)

Mr. Lazarowicz: To ask the Minister of State, Department for International Development what part the UK is playing in tackling the AIDS epidemic in Africa. [117947]

Hilary Benn: The UK is playing a significant part in tackling the AIDS epidemic in Africa, and—according to UNAIDS—is currently the second largest bilateral donor for HIV/AIDS in the world. We are supporting countries in strengthening their responses to HIV/AIDS, making sure that HIV/AIDS is not treated as just a health issue, but is addressed by all sectors within Government, such as education, transport, and agriculture, and includes partnerships with the private sector and non-governmental organisations. DFID recognises HIV/AIDS to be one of the most important development challenges facing Africa. As our overall

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programme in the region increases from £640 million to £1 billion by 2006, HIV/AIDS will remain one of our highest priorities.

In recognition of the significance of HIV/AIDS and the priority given to combating the disease, DFID announced on 30 May its decision to increase its contribution to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria with an additional US$ 40 million per year for 2006–2008, bringing DFID's total commitment to the Fund to US$ 280 million.

DFID is also working to increase access to medicines, including anti-retrovirals, and to strengthen health systems necessary to deliver vital drugs and health care for those living with HIV/AIDS. We also support research into the development of AIDS vaccines, and microbicides for HIV prevention.

Arms Export Controls

Hugh Bayley: To ask the Minister of State, Department for International Development when the Secretary of State for International Development intends to publish the report on the conference on strengthening export controls on small arms and light weapons held at Lancaster House on 14 to 15 January 2003. [117752]

Hilary Benn: The report on the conference on strengthening export controls on small arms and light weapons, held at Lancaster House on 14 to 15 January 2003, will be published by 30 June 2003. The report is a joint publication by the Department for International Development, the Foreign Office and the Ministry of Defence. The main element of the report is the Chairman's Summary, which outlines the areas of consensus established at the conference, and areas that require further work. The UK Government will circulate copies of the report to those who attended the Conference, and will make copies available at the UN Biennial Meeting on Small Arms to be held on 7 to 11 July 2003 in New York. The Report will also be available on departmental websites in due course.

The UK Government are committed to working to build on the useful discussions that took place at the Conference, by working in partnership with others to strengthen consensus on the need for regulation of small arms transfers. The Biennial Meeting in New York will be a useful opportunity to take this work forward with partners within the framework of the UN.


Dr. Tonge: To ask the Minister of State, Department for International Development what discussions the Department has had with the Bangladeshi Government concerning the incidence of tuberculosis in Bangladesh. [117845]

Hilary Benn: The Government of Bangladesh recognises the high burden of TB and the inadequacy of existing mechanisms for addressing the disease. DFID is supporting the Government, through the Country Coordinating Mechanism of the Global fund for AIDS/TB and Malaria, to secure significant additional resources for the national fight against TB. DFID works in Health sector in Bangladesh as part of a consortium of donor countries supporting the Sector Wide

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Approach in Health. We are currently discussing with the Government a new phase of that programme focused on meeting the priority health needs of poor people , including TB.

Dr. Tonge: To ask the Minister of State, Department for International Development what measures are being taken as part of health programmes run by the Department in Bangladesh to address the rates of tuberculosis. [117846]

Hilary Benn : DFID has provided £55 million to the Government of Bangladesh over the past five years in support of a Sector Wide Approach in the Health Sector, with the aim of strengthening service delivery for the whole range of public health problems. The Government of Bangladesh and Development Partners recognise that TB remains an important problem that has not yet been adequately addressed. DFID is supporting the Government's attempts to mobilise significant additional investment in TB, through the Global Fund for AIDS/TB and Malaria and will also seek to ensure that TB is prioritised in the next sector programme, which is currently being planned.

DFID is a major financier of the Global fund for AIDS/TB and Malaria, with an initial commitment of $200 million, over five years and a recently announced additional $80 million over a further two year period.

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