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22 Jan 2004 : Column 1397Wcontinued
Mr. Gray: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how compulsory mobilisation of the Territorial Army in Operation Telic affects the continuity of Service calculations for the (a) Territorial Decoration and (b) other longer Service awards. 
Mr. Caplin: The Territorial Decoration (TD) was replaced by the Volunteer Reserves Service Medal (VRSM) in 1999, although those members of the Territorial Army (TA) who had already completed a significant period of Service towards the award, can still receive the TD.
Mr. Caplin: While compulsory mobilisation does not in itself qualify members of the Territorial Army for their annual training bounty, certain aspects of that service can contribute towards the award. For example, mobilised service in theatre can be considered as meeting the requirement for a 15-day camp (or training in lieu).
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to his answer of 13 January 2004, Official Report, column 683W, on unexploded cluster bombs, if he will list each case for which compensation
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has been paid, to the victims of British cluster bombs in (a) Kosovo, (b) Afghanistan and (c) Iraq; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Iain Luke: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps the Government are taking to ensure that (a) UK and (b) EU aid to Colombia is not used in a way contrary to UN recommendations on human rights. 
DFID's one remaining government-to-government bilateral project in Colombia has now ended, This provided advice on improving the exchange of information between Non-Governmental Organisations working in agriculture. The project was consistent with the UN human rights recommendations.
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development when he will report on the outcome of the technical reviews of economic governance carried out as part of the Africa Peer Review Mechanism. 
Hilary Benn: The Africa Peer Review Mechanism is a voluntary process. Work by the Peer Review Secretariat and others involved in the technical assessment is ongoing. We will learn more about progress when the results of the first Peer Review have been published.
Sixteen countries have signed up for the Africa Peer Review Mechanism. There is no confirmation yet as to which country will be first, although it has been proposed that Ghana and South Africa may be among the first wave. Currently it appears unlikely that the technical assessments will be published separately, but as part of the overall report on each country. The reports will all be published by the NEPAD secretariat.
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment he has made of the (a) resources available to and (b) effectiveness of the African Union presence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. 
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Hilary Benn: I understand that the African Union is currently represented at an administrative level only in the DRC. At the present time it does not appear to have a significant profile in Kinshasa on DRC issues.
Mr. Gardiner: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what consideration is given to levels of HIV infection when approving a country for Heavily Indebted Poor Country debt relief. 
Hilary Benn: The amount of debt relief a country receives under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative is determined by its Debt Sustainability Analysis. A country's debt is compared with its export earnings and government revenue, and relief is provided either to bring the debt to export ratio down to 150 per cent., or the debt to government revenue ratio down to 250 per cent, whichever gives the greater amount of relief. This framework is straightforward and transparent. It also captures all of the factors that could affect a country's ability to service its debt, including levels of HIV infection, as these will affect the export and government revenue figures. Additional reliefor 'topping up'can also be provided at Completion Point, for those countries that, as a result of exogenous shocks, risk exiting the Initiative with debts above the HIPC sustainability threshold.
Levels of HIV infection are also addressed directly through the development of Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSPs), which are a requirement for receiving HIPC debt relief. Governments in HIPC countries lead national processes to develop PRSPs. These strategies set out national priorities and include an estimate of the cost of reaching medium-term development targets. The planned use of HIPC debt relief, along with all other forms of assistance for addressing social problems, such as HIV/AIDS, are addressed in these strategies. For many HIPC countries, analysis of poverty trends in PRSPs shows HIV/AIDS is an important factor, and public action plans can be costed within national spending plans. In this way, savings made under the HIPC Initiative are channelled directly towards tackling this issue.
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if he will make a statement on the extent of the food shortage in Ethiopia (a) in absolute terms and (b) by comparison with December 2002; and what measures are being taken to improve the situation. 
Hilary Benn: In December 2003, the Government of Ethiopia appealed for food assistance for 7.2 million people, amounting to 964,690 metric tonnes of cereal. This is a 45 per cent. reduction from the 13.2 million people requiring relief in December 2002.
However, there is unlikely to be any overall shortage of food in Ethiopia during 2004. Some five to six million people require assistance every year even without shocks such as drought. For this group, we are working with Government to develop a safety net that will provide timely and sufficient resources to not only save lives but help people become more productive.
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We also work with Government and others to promote long-term development and sustainably reduce vulnerability to shock. For example, we are expanding local level roads to improve access to markets and supporting the development of vulnerable groups such as pastoralists.
Hilary Benn: DFID provides financial support to the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisations (GAVI) and works closely with the partnership to further its objectives. The UK was on the Board of GAVI for two years to July 2003. We remain engaged with GAVI work on the evaluation of its support to country health systems, on the introduction of new vaccines, and on initiatives to overcome health system barriers to increasing immunisation. DFID has supported GAVI since its inception, initially with a grant of £3 million and then a grant of £35 million over five years (200105).
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what the percentage change was between 1990 and 2003 in the numbers of underweight children under five years of age in each country covered by the millennium development goals. 
Hilary Benn: The information readily accessible refers to the percentage of children in developing countries aged under five who are seriously underweight. The data are not collected on an annual basis and very few countries have data more recent than 2000. The table sets out the information on the prevalence of child malnutrition by country for the year which most closely approximates to 1990 and 2000 1 . Where the reference year is different from these two dates this is specified. The final column sets out the difference in percentage points between the two statistics.
|Country||1990||Year||2000||Year||Change over period where appropriate (percentage points)|
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||(4)||4|
|Central African Republic||23||1995||(4)|
|Congo (Dem. Rep.)||34||95||(4)|
|Korea Dem. Rep. (North)||(4)||28|
|Macedonia (FYR of)||(4)||6||1999|
|Serbia and Montenegro||2||1996||2||0|
|St. Vincent and Grenadines||(4)||20||1996|
|United Arab Emirates||(4)||7||1996|
|West Bank and Gaza||15||1995||(4)|
(4) Not available
Weight for age malnutrition is defined as the percentage of children under five whose weight for age are significantly below (in precise terms minus two standard deviations) the median for the international reference population of the same age group.
Statistics on International Development 2003
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