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8 Nov 2004 : Column 478W—continued


Mr. Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much aid the United Kingdom has given Belarus in each year since its independence from the Soviet Union. [196159]

Mr. Gareth Thomas: Belarus became independent in 1992. The following table shows UK Bilateral aid to Belarus in each year since then.
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UK bilateral aid to Belarus

Fiscal yearUK gross public expenditure (£000)

Belarus has also benefited from assistance from multilateral organisations to which the UK contributes. The following table shows, in £ million, the UK share of spending in Belarus through multilateral organisations:
UK share of multilateral aid to Belarus
£ million

Calendar yearECOtherUNTotal


Mr. Foulkes: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assistance is being given by his Department to disaster-prevention work in the Caribbean. [195907]

Mr. Gareth Thomas: DFID is enhancing the region's pre-emptive disaster management capacity through its support of multilateral and regional initiatives and direct assistance for the UK's Caribbean Overseas Territories.

DFID has committed £3.75 million to the disaster mitigation and preparedness programmes of the Pan American Health Organisation's Programme for Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Relief (PAHO PED) for the period 2003–08. DFID has also supported PAHO PED's emergency work in Montserrat and Haiti in 2004. PAHO PED focus on three key activities:

PAHO PED has also trained many professionals in the Caribbean region on disaster risk reduction policy and practice.

DFID has an institutional partnership agreement with the International Federation of the Red Cross that includes support to its Disasters and Emergencies Relief Fund through an annual contribution, currently £221,000. This support enables the Federation to
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provide immediate support to National Societies around the world to help mobilise immediate emergency relief action following natural disasters. As well as its use in response to the recent hurricanes, the fund is available to ensure swift response to future disasters affecting the Caribbean.

DFID's will be providing £265,000 of the European Union's (EU) €3 million Caribbean disaster management project. It will be co-ordinated by the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Response Agency (CDERA) in collaboration with the University of the West Indies, the Caribbean Development Bank, Government agencies, non-Government organisations, the Organisation of American States and the Canadian International Development Agency. It will strengthen the region's capacity to cope with disasters through development of disaster management legislation and regulations; national disaster awareness campaigns; the capacity for assessing and disseminating disaster management information on-line and enhancing the ability to undertake disaster management teaching and research.

DFID is already providing £1.1 million, through its share of a €13.2 million EU project, to strengthen early warning systems in the region, by providing four new digital radars in Barbados, Guyana, Belize and Trinidad and Tobago. The Barbados system will also serve the countries of the Eastern Caribbean.

DFID's strategy for UK's Caribbean Overseas Territories (COT) calls for

All hazard risk reduction is increasingly integrated into the assistance given to the COTs by DFID and in our partnership with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Policy direction is complemented by the appointment (since 2001) of a Disaster Management Adviser for the Overseas Territories and a distinct programme, with an annual budget of £350,000. This programme, through advocacy, training and the introduction of good practice, is helping to raise OT disaster preparedness and risk reduction capabilities to appropriate standards.

DFID continues to be closely involved in the humanitarian response to Hurricanes Frances and Ivan and is committed to learning lessons from these devastating events and, if necessary, to identify opportunities for DFID to provide further support to risk reduction efforts in the region from our ongoing partnerships.

Civil Servants

Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what the average length of continuous service for civil servants within the Department is. [194407]

Mr. Gareth Thomas: The average length of continuous service for permanent and pensionable civil servants within DFID is 11 years six months.


Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what his latest estimate is of the number of people displaced in Darfur. [196202]

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Hilary Benn: Although it is difficult to accurately calculate the numbers of people displaced in Darfur, Western Sudan, the latest United Nations Humanitarian Profile estimates that approximately 1.6 million people are internally displaced within Darfur as a result of the crisis. The regional breakdown of this figure is 218,000 in North Darfur, 539,000 in South Darfur, and 653,000 in West Darfur. In addition to this figure, it is estimated that there are 200,000 Darfur refugees in neighbouring Chad.

The overall total of internally displaced people has risen by approximately 151,000 in the last month. Although increased insecurity and the pull of aid in major settlements accounts for two thirds of this rise, the remaining third represents new access to previously inaccessible locations that hold concentrations of internally displaced people—these are not therefore newly displaced people.

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what his latest assessment is of the number of people who have died in each month in 2004 from malnutrition and disease in Darfur. [196203]

Hilary Benn: It is very difficult to provide accurate monthly figures of mortality in Darfur in 2004, given that there was very little access to large proportions of the Darfur in the early part of this year. The latest projections provided by the World Health Organisation (WHO) indicate that between 35,000 and 70,000 deaths occurred between March and September. In presenting these figures, WHO stated that further work was needed to estimate what proportion of these deaths were due to different causes, though it perceived that most were due to diarrhoeal diseases exacerbated by malnutrition.

The large variation in these figures is due to the fact that they are based on the findings of the WHO's retrospective mortality survey, which only covered North and West Darfur. Assessment in South Darfur was hampered by insecurity. The WHO found that between 15 June and 15 August, the crude mortality rate was 1.5 deaths per 10,000 per day in North Darfur and was 2.9 deaths per 10,000 people per day in South Darfur. Based on the numbers of internally displaced persons at the time, WHO estimated that between 6,000 and 10,000 people were dying per month.

It should be noted that these figures refer to mortality rates amongst the displaced. Further deaths may have occurred due to malnutrition, disease and for other reasons that have not been captured in the survey. DFID has urged the WHO to complete its survey in South Darfur and to undertake regular monitoring of morbidity and mortality levels throughout Darfur.

Environmental Audits

Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development pursuant to the answer of 26 October 2004, Official Report, column 1138W, if he will publish the 2004 environmental audits. [194840]

Hilary Benn: The audit was commissioned by Pacific Rim Palm Oil and not by DFID. It is therefore a matter for the management of Pacific Rim Palm Oil to decide whether to publish this report.
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