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Ottawa Convention

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make a statement on the outcome of the Review Conference relating to the Ottawa Convention; what the positions of the UK Government were; and to what extent they were achieved. [208199]

Hilary Benn: Notwithstanding the fact that much progress has been made by the international community since the entry into force of the Ottawa Convention in 1999, the Government is fully aware of the suffering still
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caused by anti-personnel landmines. The United Kingdom thus stressed throughout the preparatory stage, that the first Review Conference should be used, not only to celebrate the achievements of the last five years, but also to refocus efforts over the next five years on the continuing humanitarian cost of anti-personnel landmines.

Outcomes which reflected the UK's aspirations for the Conference included:

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DFID will continue to be a major donor in global mine action and has plans to spend at least £10 million per year for the next three years.

Special Advisers

Mr. Tyrie: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many complaints were made by departmental civil servants regarding the conduct of special advisers between 31 March 2003 and 31 March 2004. [203472]

Hilary Benn: I refer the hon. Member to the reply given by my right hon. Friend, the then Minister for the Cabinet Office, (Ruth Kelly) on 13 December 2004, Official Report, column 946W.

Mr. George Osborne: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many special advisers there are in the Department, broken down by civil service pay-grade. [206510]

Hilary Benn: I refer the hon. Member for Tatton to the reply given by my hon. Friend, the Minister for the Cabinet Office, (Mr. Miliband) on 21 December 2004, Official Report, column 1604W.

Sri Lanka

Tom Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what discussions he has had with the Sri Lankan Government to ensure that all Tamil communities in Sri Lanka are now receiving food, medical supplies and other assistance; and if he will make a statement. [208727]

Hilary Benn: During my visit to Sri Lanka on 8 January I met with local government officials and MPs in Batticola. Officials in the DFID Sri Lanka office are holding regular discussions with government officials concerning the needs, priorities and strategies in relation to the delivery of humanitarian assistance. DFID's humanitarian response has been channelled through United Nations agencies, the Red Cross movement, and non-governmental organisations and in direct in kind help aimed at addressing immediate needs. DFID has supported the United Nations in undertaking impact and needs assessments, coordination, technical advice and air movements logistics support. The assistance that we have provided, and are supporting, is geographically spread throughout the country. This includes substantial support to Tamil communities in proportion to needs across the country.

Stolen Property

Mr. George Osborne: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development (1) if he will list the property
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belonging to his Department that has (a) been stolen and (b) been reported lost in each year since 1997, broken down by type of article; [206371]

(2) how many items of civil service property within his Department are unaccounted for, broken down by type. [205573]

Mr. Gareth Thomas: The number of items reported stolen or lost in the UK and overseas is as set out: Information for 1997 is not readily available and could not be obtained without incurring disproportionate cost.
Answer phone10Xcomputers
Tape recorder
Disc driveFax machine
2Xlaser printers
Colour printer
2002Conference phoneVideo camera
2XVCRBuilding materials
Digital camera
Digital camera

Tsunami Relief

Mr. Salmond: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if he will publish written statements on a monthly basis on the progress of UK Government aid to countries hit by the Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami indicating (a) amounts spent in pounds sterling, (b) quantity and nature of materials purchased and (c) the proportion of materials sent out to those countries in need. [207793]

Hilary Benn: DFID presently produces daily situation reports that are published on the Department for International Development's website: We will continue to keep the House informed of our continuing relief effort, by means of written statements as appropriate.

Mr. Salmond: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development from which funds money pledged by the Government to help the victims of the Indian earthquake and tsunami has been provided; and if he will make a statement. [207794]

Hilary Benn: I refer the hon. Gentleman to the statement made by the Prime Minister to the House of Commons on 10 January 2005, Official Report, column 24. As the Prime Minister explained, the Government have so far committed £75 million towards the immediate humanitarian response to the Indian Ocean disaster. The Government's commitment has been funded from
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both DFID's and HM Treasury's contingency budgets comprising: DFID's humanitarian contingency budget (£20 million), DFID's central Contingency Reserve (£30 million), and the Treasury's Reserve (£25 million).

John Barrett: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps are being taken to ascertain the humanitarian situation in Burma following the Asian tsunami disaster; and if he will make a statement. [209026]

Hilary Benn: At the onset of the disaster, a Tsunami Assistance Co-ordination Group, composed of international NGOs, the International Committee of the Red Cross, and UN agencies and chaired by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) was established in Burma. Over the next 10 days, Co-ordination Group members undertook a series of assessment and verification missions—to the Rakhine Coast, the Irawaddy Delta and the southern coast including the most populated islands of the Myeik archipelago and the islands off Kawthaung around Lampi Island. On 6 January 2005, the group met to consolidate the findings of the different assessment and verification missions. It concluded that Burma had been largely spared from the destructive forces of the earthquake and subsequent tsunami, and that initial emergency needs had been met. The group's assessment was a death toll of 60 to 80, and an estimated longer-term affected population of 10,000 to 15,000 (of whom 5,000 to 7,000 were directly affected). Assessment of longer-term reconstruction and rehabilitation needs is currently ongoing.

Ms Keeble: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps are being taken to co-ordinate the contributions of different donor countries to the tsunami disaster relief programmes. [208137]

Hilary Benn: The lead responsibility for co-ordinating the response to the disaster rests with the United Nations. Margareta Wahlstrom has been appointed as the United Nations Special Co-ordinator for Humanitarian Assistance in Tsunami Affected Countries and is working in the region. A Special Representative of the Secretary-General is expected to be appointed for the region.

Immediately following news of the disaster, we provided two experts to the United Nations Disaster Assessment and Co-ordination mechanism for deployment to affected countries. DFID has since been providing a range of practical assistance to help the United Nations be sufficiently equipped and resourced to meet its co-ordination and response role.

International co-ordination is also being progressed through a series of international meetings. On 6 January, the Foreign Secretary attended the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit, in Jakarta, my Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State attended the meeting of the General Affairs and External Relations Council (GAERC) of the European Union, in Brussels on 7 January, and on 11 January, I attended a donor conference arranged by the United Nations, in Geneva, following the launch of their Regional Appeal. DFID has pledged a contribution of £40 million in response to this Appeal from our £75 million allocation to the immediate relief effort.
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