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20 Jan 2005 : Column 1073W—continued


Mr. Byers: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what his estimate is of the number of (a) adults and (b) children who died in each of the last 10 years in developing countries from (i) HIV/AIDS, (ii) malaria and (iii) tuberculosis. [209464]

Hilary Benn [holding answer 18 January 2005]:Along with the rest of the international community, DFID relies on HIV and AIDS data from the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS). Separate figures for deaths in adults and children under 15 years for developing countries are not available.

UNAIDS estimates in 2003, out of a global total of 2.9 million AIDS deaths, 2.4 million were adults and 490,000 were children. In 2004, out of a global total of 3.1 million AIDS deaths, 2.6 million were adults and 510,000 were children. A country breakdown is available on the UNAIDS web site, (

Malaria kills over one million people worldwide each year, 98 per cent. (982, 095) are children under 14. Tuberculosis kills approximately 2 million people each year, 5 per cent. (103734) are children under 14. TB is the leading cause of death among people who are HIV positive 1 .


Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what contingency plans are in place to overcome logistical difficulties in getting aid to tsunami victims in the countries affected. [209729]

Hilary Benn: Supporting the logistical effort has been a priority for DFID since the earthquake and tsunami hit. DFID has provided equipment to help establish the UN Field Office in Bandeh Aceh and the Humanitarian Information Centre. DFID has provided an expert to work in the centre. DFID is also providing three air operators to help co-ordinate the movement of relief items by air, along with 25 landrovers and five helicopters put at the disposal of the United Nations.

UK forces also played an important role in this. DFID is providing significant airlift capacity, including one RAF c-17 plane. Two navy ships—Chatham and Diligence—provided assistance off Sri Lanka. Their Lynx helicopters undertook assessments and provided transport capacity.
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In addition to the material support mentioned, DFID has provided significant financial support to logistics. This represents part of DFID's £2 million commitment in support of the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, as well as the £1.5 million committed to the International Committee of the Red Cross, £3.5 million to the World Food Programme, £1 million to the International Organisation for Migration, £0.5 million to the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs and £0.4 million to the UN's Security Co-ordinator.

Mr. Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps he is taking to ensure that orphaned survivors of the tsunami are protected from the activities of paedophile rings; and whether it is his policy to ensure that partner aid agencies take action to minimise such risks. [209829]

Hilary Benn: DFID is monitoring the situation closely and will work with partner agencies and affected governments to ensure that everything possible is being done to prevent such horrible abuses. Our partners conform to principled standards of humanitarian action in undertaking their work. At present there has only been a small number of child abduction cases reported. DFID is following this up through discussions with the United Nations Children Fund. DFID has committed £2.25 million to support this agency's work to protect children in Sri Lanka and Indonesia.

Water and Sanitation Projects

Mr. Alan Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much EU overseas development assistance has been (a) committed and (b) spent on water and sanitation projects in each year since 2000, broken down by country. [209830]

Hilary Benn: Data from the Development Assistance Committee of the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) show European Commission (EC) average commitment on water supply and sanitation in 2001–02 was US$150 million. Total overseas development assistance to water supply and sanitation from the EC in 2001 was allocated as follows: Africa 79 per cent., Latin America and Caribbean 15 per cent., Oceania 6 per cent. (this is based on a five-year moving average).

The European Union (including 25 member state plus the European Commission) is the largest donor overall and the largest donor in the water sector in Africa, committing some €1.4 billion each year. The priority of water has been increased in African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries, with the establishment of the EU-ACP Water Facility (€250 million available this year).

Obtaining comparable figures is difficult because different donors use different criteria to calculate support to the water sector or track support within multi sector projects. Figures may also include or exclude related issues such as water resources management or concessional loans. The UK is working with the EU Water Initiative Finance Working Group to improve the tracking of aid flows in the water sector.
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Mr. Alan Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what plans his Department has to increase the proportion of EU aid spent on water and sanitation projects. [209831]

Hilary Benn: EU funds for aid are allocated by the Commission on the basis of priorities set out by developing countries in Country Strategy Papers. The Department for International Development (DFID) is represented on all committees at which these papers are discussed and agreed and works with others to ensure aid is spent as effectively as possible to help achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), including those on access to water and sanitation.

Within African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries, DFID is represented on the board of the European Development Fund (EOF) and has been involved in establishing the ACP-EU Water Facility. The Water Facility makes provision for €250 million this year, from the unspent funds of the EDF, for catalytic projects in the sector that are able to leverage greater finance flows and accelerate progress toward the MDGs.

DFID are also supporting the EU Water Initiative. The EU Water Initiative, through an Africa Component are working with the African Ministerial Council on Water and other stakeholders in Africa on increasing the priority being given to water and sanitation in poverty reduction or national development strategies, on improving strategic planning in the sector and on improving donor coordination. This will ensure that existing money is better spent and that a clearer demand for work in the sector is articulated to which donors (including the EU) may respond with increased aid commitments under the 2002 Monterrey Consensus principles of demand led assistance.


British Nuclear Tests Veterans Association

Mr. Todd: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what response has been provided to solicitors representing the British Nuclear Tests Veterans Association. [209533]

Mr. Pickthall: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what response he has made to the lawyers acting on behalf of British Nuclear Tests Veterans who have submitted a letter before action. [209664]

Mr. Caplin: A letter of acknowledgement has been sent in response to the Letter of Claim from the solicitors representing members of the British Nuclear Tests Veterans Association.


Mr. Keith Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans he has to reduce the size of the Gurkha garrison in Brunei as part of the defence review. [208483]

Mr. Ingram [holding answer 17 January 2005]: None.
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Colombian Army

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent UK military aid has been given to (a) the 3rd Division of the Colombian Army and (b) the brigades and battalions that comprise the 3rd division of the Colombian Army; and which programmes this aid is funding. [200035]

Mr. Ingram: We do not provide generic military assistance to Colombian Army divisions, brigades or battalions as formations, including the 3rd Division. UK military assistance provided to the Colombian Army is focused on specialist Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) units and British military education to selected individuals, such as The Royal College of Defence Studies, which introduces British Defence concepts, including human rights and democratically accountable Armed Forces.

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