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Middle East

21. Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what estimate he has made of the number of Palestinians who have been separated from (a) their farmland and (b) their place of work by the Israel Wall impinging into Palestinian territory. [190336]

Mr. Rammell: We estimate that approximately 240,000 Palestinians (including 220,000 in east Jerusalem) live on the Israeli side of the barrier constructed so far, and so are potentially cut off from their places of work, schools and families. About 94,000 more may have been separated from their farmland. 1

As a result of the 30 June Israeli High Court ruling, the Israeli Government is revising the route of the barrier.


22. Mr. Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with the Government of (a) India and (b) Pakistan on Kashmir. [190337]

Mr. Alexander: My right hon. Friends the Prime Minister and the Foreign Secretary discussed India-Pakistan relations with their Indian counterparts during Prime Minister Singh's visit to London on 20 September. The Foreign Secretary met his Pakistan counterpart on 23 September during the UN General Assembly. We conveyed to both Governments our warm support for the current dialogue process, and urged them to continue to press forward to resolve all their outstanding differences, including over Kashmir.


Mr. Simmonds: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions his Department has engaged in with the Government of Brazil regarding computer hacking. [189883]

Mr. Rammell: We are in close contact with the Brazilian Government on a number of organised crime issues including hacking and other hi-tech crime. In mid-September, the head of the UK's National Hi-Tech Crime Unit (NHTCU), and representatives from the British embassy attended the first International Conference on Cyber Crime Investigations in Brasilia. We hope that the Brazilian Federal Police will also attend the NHTCU's E-crime Congress to be held in the UK in April 2005.

Butler Report

Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to his answer of 13 September 2004, Official Report, column 1450W, if he will specify the year of the dates given; which Government Ministers were informed; what communications there were between the Foreign Office and the Prime Minister's Office; and when these communications took place. [190073]

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Mr. Straw: The year referred to was 2004. The Ministers referred to were my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister and me. The communications between our respective offices took place in June 2004. Information relating to internal discussion and advice is exempt from disclosure under exemption 2 of Part 2 the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information.

Chagos Islands

Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what plans he has to consult Chagos Islanders on compensation for loss of livelihood. [190332]

Mr. Rammell: As the hon. Member for Islington, North knows, the High Court judgment of 9 October 2003 established that the Government have no legal obligation to pay any further compensation beyond what has already been provided. This was confirmed by the Court of Appeal on 22 July 2004. Consequently, while I have made it clear that I am prepared to meet Chagossian representatives, I have no plans to consult them on compensation.

Global Warming

Joan Ruddock: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations the Government are making to the United States Administration to encourage its engagement with international efforts to combat global warming. [190325]

Mr. Rammell: I refer my hon. Friend to the answer my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary gave earlier today to my hon. Friend the Member for Brighton, Kemptown (Dr. Turner).

Hurricane Ivan

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the impact of Hurricane Ivan on (a) Grenada, (b) Jamaica and (c) Cuba giving (i) the estimated number of (A) fatalities and (B) serious injuries and (ii) the levels of homelessness in each case; and what help was forthcoming in each case. [189905]

Mr. Rammell: Sadly, Hurricane Ivan has had a devastating effect on Grenada. The latest figures we have for deaths and injuries are 39 dead and 353 treated for injuries. Royal Navy medical staff were on the ground at the general hospital on the morning after the hurricane. It is estimated that some 90 per cent. of the housing stock was damaged.

For UK assistance to Grenada I refer my hon. Friend to the statement my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for International Development (Hilary Benn) made to the House on 14 September 2004, Official Report, columns 1125–27, which was updated on 16 September 2004, Official Report, columns 169–72WS. A further written statement, updating the House on UK assistance following Hurricanes Ivan and Jeanne was issued today.

My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary has appointed my noble Friend the Baroness Howells of St. David's as his personal envoy to Grenada. She travelled to Barbados and Grenada from 21 to
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24 September with representatives of the Department for International Development (DFID) and the British High Commissioner to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean to see the situation at first hand.

In Jamaica the impact was, fortunately, not as severe as first feared, although tragically 17 people have reportedly lost their lives. We do not have any details of serious injuries but the number of people directly and significantly affected by the hurricane is thought to be around 25,000 people. It is believed some 5,000 were made homeless. The Jamaica Red Cross estimates that approximately 25,000 people have suffered enough damage to their homes to require external assistance to start their own recovery. DFID have allocated £600,000 to the Jamaican humanitarian response.

The impact from Hurricane Ivan on Cuba was far less than originally feared as the eye of the storm missed the mainland. There were no reported fatalities, but according to the UN 8,000 people were left homeless. Reports are still being gathered from the affected areas, and once these are completed we will consider what support is needed.

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports of looting and lawlessness were reported in (a) Grenada, (b) Jamaica and (c) Cuba in the aftermath of Hurricane Ivan. [189906]

Mr. Rammell: In the days following Hurricane Ivan there were reports of looting in and around the capital of Grenada. St. George's. Troops from other Caribbean countries were sent to Grenada to help re-establish control and enforce a curfew. They arrived the second day after the hurricane. The Government of Grenada says the situation is now generally calm.

As the storm approached Jamaica, the Prime Minister, P J Patterson declared a state of public emergency. This can last up to a maximum of 30 days unless Parliament extends it. The stated reason was prior knowledge of planned looting. Several people were apparently arrested. There were reports of looting in various inner city areas and two police officers were shot and wounded. The Jamaican Security forces were on duty throughout and kept the situation generally under control.

Fortunately the eye of the storm missed the Cuban mainland and there was far less damage than expected. There were no reports of looting or lawlessness.

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the ability of the High Commission in Grenada to respond to the level of need in the aftermath of Hurricane Ivan for (a) British citizens, (b) Grenadian nationals and (c) others. [189907]

Mr. Rammell: At the time of the hurricane there was one UK-based member of staff in Grenada and two locally-engaged staff. Royal Navy personnel were on hand to assist as soon as the hurricane passed and we reinforced the office as soon as was possible with four staff from Bridgetown. The office opened as soon as it was possible for staff to reach it. Two staff were also sent from London to assist.
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In the immediate aftermath of the hurricane there was no telephone service and many roads were blocked. High Commission staff moved from hotel to hotel to make contact with tour operators and British and EU tourists and helped make arrangements for them to leave the island. Staff took messages for relatives of a number of British, Grenadian and other foreign nationals in the UK and elsewhere.

Over the weekend following the hurricane we helped over 400 British, EU and Commonwealth nationals leave Grenada on a variety of unscheduled flights including one we chartered.

Our consular responsibility was to British nationals, including dual nationals and EU nationals in the first instance. Inquiring Grenadian nationals were given advice on travel and immigration regulations in the UK.

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