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12 Oct 2004 : Column 204W—continued

Hurricane Ivan

Mr. Foulkes: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assistance is being provided by the UK Government for the consequences of Hurricane Ivan in the Cayman Islands. [190275]

Mr. Gareth Thomas: Following the impact of the hurricane, HMS Richmond and the Royal Fleet Auxiliary Wave Ruler began helping the relief effort at the earliest opportunity. DFID also responded to an urgent request from the Government of the Cayman Islands by providing urgent relief items, including plastic sheeting. DFID has since sent flights containing potable water, hygiene materials and other requested items. The cost of this direct assistance is about £200,000. DFID has also contributed £500,000 to the International Federation of the Red Cross regional appeal, for the provision of emergency food, shelter needs, water and sanitation and various non-food items. The Regional Appeal includes support to 1,000 affected families in Cayman Islands for six months.

The British Government are providing £100,000 towards the costs associated with the deployment of a contingent from the Bermuda Regiment who are currently helping with the continuing clean up on the Islands. We have also provided advisory support including a Law Enforcement Adviser, a Disaster Preparedness Adviser and reinforced the Governor's office.

Mr. Foulkes: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much additional resources have been made available to (a) Grenada, (b) the Cayman Islands and (c) the Caribbean region as a result of Hurricane Ivan. [190276]

Mr. Gareth Thomas: To date, DFID has committed around £3.4 million of assistance to the Caribbean region including our share of European Community commitments, following the impact of Hurricane Ivan
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on affected countries. Of this approximately £840,000 and £300,000 have been provided in direct support to relief needs in Grenada and Cayman Islands respectively. In addition to this assistance, HMS Richmond and RFA Wave Ruler were deployed to both islands to offer and provide immediate humanitarian support. We are considering further support to affected countries through United Nation agencies, the International Federation of the Red Cross and non-governmental organisations.

The European Community has announced it is mobilising £4.65 million in emergency relief and post emergency rehabilitation to help Grenada focusing on the provision of emergency shelter, food, water and other key supplies for 5,000 homeless families. It includes funds to be mobilized under the ninth European Development Fund, that are expected to be utilised primarily for school rehabilitation. The United Kingdom's share of this European Community assistance is about £700,000. The European Commission has also pledged £830,000 to Jamaica through its Humanitarian Aid Office, focusing on reducing the number of persons in temporary shelters and providing alternative accommodation for those currently housed in schools. The United Kingdom's share of this support is about £150,000. The European Community has announced a contribution of £1 million towards emergency relief in Haiti. The United Kingdom share of this humanitarian assistance is approximately £180,000.

The World Bank is providing £5.55 million to Grenada from its contingency facility for regional disaster management. The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) has provided a £55,475 grant and £277,360 soft loan to Grenada for short-term disaster recovery. The Inter-American Development Bank has provided a £111,000 grant through the Caribbean Development Bank. The Inter-American Development Bank is providing a £111,000 technical assistance grant for Jamaica.

The Caribbean Development Bank has offered up to £277,360 in concessional lending to each of the affected member countries in the region, along with a £55,475 assessment grant via the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Response Agency for each country.

Latin America

Julie Morgan: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if he will make a statement on the Department's aims, objectives and activities in Latin America. [190304]

Mr. Gareth Thomas: DFID recently finalised its Regional Assistance Plan for Latin America 2004–2007, which lays out our strategy for DFID's bilateral programme in the region. Its goal is to reduce poverty and inequality in the region, by enhancing the impact of international community support for poverty reduction, focusing on the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the World Bank.

DFID will work to improve the effectiveness of the contributions the IDB and World Bank make in creating economic opportunities for poor people and in making public services and political systems accountable and responsible to poor people. We will do
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so through a combination of direct support for the IDB and World Bank and working with other organisations in the region.

In addition, DFID will help to improve the coherence of donor support for governments' poverty reduction strategies and will also contribute to lesson sharing on key global policy issues,-particularly trade policies that better reflect the impact of trade on poverty and inequality, and improved quality and effectiveness of HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment and care.

DFID will retain a bilateral programme in Nicaragua to reflect its low-income status and vulnerability. British non-governmental organisations (NGOs) will be important partners in achieving our goal. An additional £7 million a year will be provided to NGOs with Partnership Programme Agreements with DFID for their work in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The Regional Assistance Plan will be formally launched later this month.

US Agencies (Sole-sourced Contracts)

Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development whether the reports on audits of sole-sourced contracts that have already been undertaken by various US agencies requested by the International Advisory and Monitoring Board have been handed over; and if he will make a statement. [190231]

Hilary Benn: The International Advisory and Monitoring Board (IAMB) has requested copies of reports issued by the US Defence Contract Audit Agency on its audits of contracts for work in Iraq that included funding from the Development Fund for Iraq as well as US appropriated funds. I understand that, because the reports contain proprietary contractor commercial or financial information, including pricing data, the US Government are barred by US law from releasing this information without the permission of the company involved. I also understand that the US Government are working to resolve this issue.


Civil Service (Job Losses)

Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland which services within his Department will be (a) affected by and (b) subject to job losses consequent on the cuts in the civil service announced in the Spending Review. [189637]

Mrs. McGuire: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my right hon. Friend, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, on 16 September 2004, Official Report, column 1659W.

Departmental Recycling

Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what the latest available 12 month figures are for the proportion of the Department's redundant documentation, waste paper and card that is recycled; and if he will make a statement on the Department's recycling policy. [188691]

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Mrs. McGuire: The Scotland Office is committed to the recycling policy and targets set out in the Framework for Sustainable Development on the Government Estate. The precise information requested is not available; but a large majority of the waste paper and card produced by the Scotland Office is already consigned to re-cycling.


Export Credits Guarantee Department

Mr. Arbuthnot: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment her Department has made of the impact of the change of the Export Credits Guarantee Department to a statutory trading fund. [189786]

Mr. Alexander: The establishment of the Trading Fund, preceded by the pilot next year, should enable ECGD to take a more expansive approach to cover and an improved service to customers. There will be a parallel commitment to reduce premiums by up to £5 million per annum on cases where ECGD is currently charging above the internationally agreed minimum benchmark.

Mr. Arbuthnot: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what estimate her Department has made of the likely volume of new business from the establishment of the Export Credits Guarantee Department (a) Pilot Trading Fund in April 2005 and (b) Statutory Trading Fund in April 2007. [189787]

Mr. Alexander: ECGD's new business in the last two financial years amounted to £3.5 billion (2002–03) and £2.99 billion (2003–04). When making her statement of 1 July 2004, Official Report, column 22WS, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry confirmed her commitment to the introduction of a Trading Fund with a capital framework designed to accommodate both business growth and risk volatility. The Chief Executive is analysing possible future business volumes.

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