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Tom Brake: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much (a) financial, (b) material, (c) personnel and (d) other aid the UK Government (i) pledged and (ii) delivered to Mozambique after the 2000 floods. 
Hilary Benn: The UK pledged £26 million at the Rome donor conference held in response to the Government of Mozambique's appeal for assistance following the 2000 floods. Our actual expenditure was £37 million. This was composed of £10 million in additional budgetary assistance to the Government of Mozambique to compensate for revenue losses, £7 million for the reconstruction of the north-south highway and a total of £20 million channelled through United Nations agencies and NGOs to meet a range of emergency needs, including food assistance, helicopter operations, provision of water and sanitation and logistical support. Given the number of projects and agencies involved, providing the detailed breakdown requested would incur a disproportionate cost.
Richard Burden: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what makes of car have been selected for supply to the Palestinian Police force in the programme funded by the UK; in which country those vehicles were manufactured; and what assessment was made of the options for procurement of vehicles produced in the UK. 
Hilary Benn: The police cars for the Palestinian Authority (PA) police force were selected and bought by the PA in line with their procurement procedures. This included an evaluation of all available vehicles in the market and their suitability and price. The cars selected were Volkswagen Passats, manufactured in Germany and procured through a Palestinian car dealership. DFID's development assistance is fully untied. Choice of vehicle would not be restricted to any make or model but based on value for money and operational requirements in the destination country.
Mr. George Osborne: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many pay television subscriptions the Department had in each year since 1997; and what the cost was in each year. 
Hilary Benn: DFID subscribes to the parliamentary TV system to allow access to the parliamentary annunciator system, the Division Bell and Commons and Lords TV channels in the UK. Other services and channels are included in the package: these are selected by the Information Committee of the Houses of Parliament. These additional channels include the pay TV channels: CNN; Sky Sports 1; Sky Sports 2; Sky Sports 3. The annual costs of the subscription since 1997 are:
|1997||no figures are available|
DFID has no other pay television subscriptions in the UK and there is no central provision of pay television services to overseas offices. Information about any local purchases overseas could not be obtained without incurring a disproportionate cost.
Hilary Benn: I visited Sri Lanka on 8 January and met with local government officials and MPs. 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 interventions aimed at addressing immediate needs. DFID has supported the United Nations in undertaking impact and needs assessments, co-ordination, 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.
Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development at what time, using Greenwich Mean Time (a) he and (b) his Department was first informed of the earthquake off Sumatra on 26 December; and when (i) he and (ii) officials in his Department were informed that the earthquake had caused a tsunami. 
Hilary Benn: DFID first became aware of the earthquake at 02.40 (GMT), and was receiving the first reports of flood damage at 06.50. I first became aware of both the earthquake and the consequent tsunami at about 10.00 am.
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development whether the money committed by his Department as a result of the Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami includes money that will be charged back by the Ministry of Defence for costs related to the use of UK military staff and equipment in relief and support efforts in the area; and if he will make a statement. 
Hilary Benn: In response to the Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami, the Department for International Development and the Ministry of Defence have an agreement based on marginal costing related to the use of UK military staff and equipment in the relief effort. The costs are agreed in advance and are competitive with commercial rates.
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what estimates his Department have made of the total value of UK Government spending committed following the Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami that will be paid to (a) other UK Government departments, (b) the UN or its agencies, (c) non-governmental organisations, (d) other national governments and (e) other agencies working in the countries affected; and if he will make a statement. 
Hilary Benn: The Department for International Development has committed £75 million towards immediate humanitarian needs. This assistance is being channelled through United Nations agencies, the Red Cross Movement, non-governmental organisations and by DFID direct action. Of this, £40 million has been pledged as the UK contribution to the UN Flash Appeal. Requests for support from non-governmental organisations are still being received and we are continuing our direct action in support of priority needs. DFID estimates that the combined value of these will be about £25 million. The balance is being provided through the Red Cross, local initiatives being considered by DFID Country Offices, and the Ministry of Defence to cover the marginal costs of their operation.
On the bilateral front, DFID is continuing with the implementation of its international development programmes in those countries affected, where it has a bilateral programme. The UK is also providing Gift Aid relief on the money donated by the British public so far, which could be worth some £15 million. In addition to this, our share of the proposed package of up to
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€450 million from the European Community budget for immediate and longer-term relief is €90 million (approx. £63 million).
On debt relief, Sri Lanka has been added to the list of countries eligible for the UK's multilateral debt relief initiative. The UK will pay 10 per cent. of its debt service costs to the International Development Association (IDA) which amounts to approximately US $5.5 million in 2005, $5.8 million in 2006 and $6.2 million in 2007.
Tom Brake: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what the sources are of UK financial assistance from public funds to date for the tsunami disaster; and what percentage of the pledged aid (a) is from the existing departmental budget and (b) he expects will be funded by other Government sources, broken down by source. 
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 has so far committed £75 million towards the immediate humanitarian response to the Indian Ocean disaster. This has been drawn from (a) DFID's humanitarian contingency budget and DFID's central Contingency Reserve (66.7 per cent.) and (b) the Treasury's Reserve (33.3 per cent.).
Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what lessons his Department has drawn on the deployment of UK search and rescue teams following experience in the South Asian tsunami disaster area. 
Tom Brake: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what discussions he has had with the Indonesian Government about restrictions imposed on aid agencies regarding access to the Aceh region. 
Hilary Benn: The Indonesian Government are concerned for the safety and security of humanitarian aid workers, and has introduced registration procedures. They also offer guidance and police escorts to those wishing to travel to areas where escorts are judged necessary. There have not been any reports of these measures restricting the movement of humanitarian aid, though DFID continues to monitor the situation.
In addition to the £75 million already committed for immediate relief and recovery, DFID will make a further contribution to longer-term rehabilitation and reconstruction. DFID's focus will be on support to rebuilding livelihoods and services for poor people in affected countries. The governments concerned are currently completing needs assessments with the support of the World Bank and others. DFID will consider how we can best channel our support once we have the completed assessments of need.
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DFID will work to ensure that the views of the poorest and most vulnerable are taken into account throughout the process of rehabilitation. It will be important that the response of donors and international agencies is co-ordinated properly to ensure effective use of funds and minimum burden on recipient countries. We will work to ensure that the UN relief effort is sustained and that there is a smooth transition from the recovery phase to longer-term rehabilitation.
Tom Brake: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what discussions he has had with tsunami-affected countries on providing training for (a) local counsellors for victims suffering from post-traumatic stress and (b) local architects in relation to (i) reconstruction programmes and (ii) the design of safer essential buildings. 
Hilary Benn: DFID recognises that psycho-social help is a key need in those countries affected by the tsunami. DFID has committed £2 million to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) for its programme in the region, which includes support to this sector. DFID has also provided £57,933 to the NGO "Basic Needs" for its work in mental health and psycho-social support in Sri Lanka. We are currently considering other funding proposals, which may include further support to psycho-social health.
DFID will work with the governments of the countries affected by the tsunami to ensure that disaster risk reduction measures, including reconstruction programmes and design of safer buildings, are integral to the reconstruction of the devastated areas. These issues are being discussed by my hon. Friend, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State with representatives of the governments concerned at the World Conference on Disaster Reduction in Kobe, Japan. Reconstruction programmes and design of buildings will naturally involve local architects and they will identify if there is a need for external expertise or training.
Tom Brake: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what discussions he has had with countries affected by the tsunami about the supply of (a) field hospitals and (b) water purification plants. 
Hilary Benn: DFID has provided relief items at the request of affected governments and following assessments of need by humanitarian agencies. DFID did not receive any specific request for field hospitals or water purification plants.
DFID has responded to health needs through support to organisations working in the health sector. Although it is difficult to be precise at this stage, a large proportion of DFID's support has gone to meet health needs, including £3.1 million to the World Health Organisation and additionally to non-governmental organisations including the International Medical Corps (£327,250) and the Mentor Initiative (£897,000). DFID also provided health related relief items, including enough emergency medical supplies to serve two million people for three months.
For water purification, DFID provided 1,000,000 water purification tablets, as well as support to implementing partners working in water and sanitation. This includes £4 million to UNICEF for water and sanitation activities
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in Indonesia, India the Maldives and Sri Lanka, and £2 million to the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.
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