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Ms Abbott: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what measures the United Kingdom is taking to support the Government of Haiti in stopping environmental degradation in that country. 
Mr. Gareth Thomas: The Interim Cooperation Framework (ICF) for Haiti is the basis for a coordinated national reconstruction and development programme for Haiti, including both short and medium-term priority needs. The ICF includes a programme for the environment that aims to promote alternative energy sources to replace wood and charcoal; to fight against degradation of land and key natural resources; and to promote sustainable and integrated disaster risk management through the implementation of the National Plan for Disaster and Risk Management.
The UK is supporting the environmental measures outlined in the ICF through its contributions to the European Commission, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the World Bank who are financing efforts in this area. The EC has pledged US$3 million for environmental programmes in the ICF, and the IDB and World Bank have pledged US$105 million and US$44 million in unallocated funds to the broad economic recovery section of the ICF, some of which may be used to finance environmental programmes.
The UK will continue to engage with its partner multilateral institutions in order to ensure that the development assistance relating to the environment in Haiti, and all other sectors, is delivered effectively and efficiently, and that the voices and needs of the poor are included and addressed.
Ms Abbott: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development whether the UK made a contribution to bi-lateral assistance in Haiti during the meeting of donor countries in Washington in July. 
Mr. Gareth Thomas:
The UK did not make a bilateral contribution to assistance in Haiti during the Donor Conference held in July 2004. However, donor pledges totalled over US$1 billion, exceeding the US $924 million requested to finance Haiti's needs outlined
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in its Interim Cooperation Framework for 200406. The funds pledged included significant contributions from the following multilateral institutions supported by the UK Government:
DFID is contributing indirectly to the Interim Cooperation Framework through its contributions to the European Commission, the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank, who have pledged assistance to the ICF as follows:
DFID will continue to engage with its multilateral and bilateral donor partners to ensure that the development assistance under the ICF is efficient and effective, and that the needs of poor people are adequately addressed.
DFID will also continue to support civil society organisations working in Haiti through the Small Grants Scheme, the Civil Society Challenge Fund and the Partnership Programme Agreements for Latin America and the Caribbean.
Mr. Gareth Thomas: DFID currently has no plans of seconding staff to work in the European Commission's delegation. DFID's engagement with the Commission on Haiti will continue to be managed by the European Union department, in collaboration with DFID Caribbean.
DFID will continue to engage in Haiti through our contributions to the key multilateral institutions operating in Haiti, including the UN, the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank, as well as the EC. We will also continue to support civil society organisations operating in Haiti through our Small Grants Scheme, Civil Society Challenge Fund and Partnership Programme Agreements.
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent support he has given to projects in the Russian Federation aimed at
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improving facilities for (a) street children, (b) orphans and (c) children with disabilities; what his plans are in this area; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what plans his Department has to monitor the success of its dialogue with main partner governments who have not prioritised water and sanitation in their poverty reduction strategy papers. 
Mr. Gareth Thomas [holding answer 30 November 2004]: The Department of International Development (DFID) works with partner governments, respecting choices made at the country level, including priorities set within poverty reduction strategies. Where these do not include sectors or issues that DFID regards as high priority, DFID addresses this through reviews of poverty reduction strategies, and through support to strengthen policy analysis and dialogue. Opportunities for monitoring arise in particular during annual reviews of Poverty Reduction Strategies, World Bank and International Monetary Fund reviews, budget and public expenditure reviews, and during the preparation of subsequent Poverty Reduction Strategies.
Michael Fabricant: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what estimate his Department has made of the amount of funds in US dollars which originated from (a) United Kingdom bilateral aid and (b) aid from the European Union held by the estate of the late Yasser Arafat; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Gareth Thomas: There is no evidence which indicates that either UK bilateral or European funds are held by the estate of President Arafat. Until this year the majority of DFID's bilateral programme expenditure has been technical assistance, channelled directly through international and local managing agents, not the Palestinian Authority (PA). In 2004 DFID contributed bilaterally to the PA budget through the World Bank Public Financial Management Reform Trust Fund. Since 2000, the European Commission has provided budget assistance to the PA in addition to its technical assistance programme. This money has been managed directly by the Ministry of Finance with no involvement of the President's Office.
The International Monetary Fund reported last year that during the period 1995 to 2000, there was a diversion of £560 million of revenue from the Palestinian Authority budget to a special bank account controlled by President Arafat. There was no suggestion that this money had been "misused"and that the large majority of these funds had been invested in assets that are still within the public domain. The IMF report highlighted the significant progress that has been made
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over the last two years in improving accountability and transparency. Allocations from the PA budget to the President's Office have been drastically reduced.
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make a statement on the effect of the coming into force of the European Constitution on the operation of his Department, with reference to (a) changes in legislative competence, (b) the extension of qualified majority voting, (c) the increased legislative role of the European Parliament, (d) the cost of implementation of regulations, (e) the requirements of adherence to the Charter of Fundamental Rights and (f) the quantity of legislation originating in the EU institutions. 
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