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Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much (a) financial assistance, (b) logistical assistance and (c) assistance in kind has been provided to Engineers Without Borders UK by his Department for the programme in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil with the Iracambi Atlantic Rainforest Research Center since its inception; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Gareth Thomas: DFID has not provided direct funding for the work of Engineers Without Borders with the Iracambi Atlantic Rainforest Research Center (ARRC) in Brazil Minas Gerais. However, DFID has co-financed the Rain Forest Trust Fund (RFT Fund) which has supported civil society organisations in the Atlantic Rain Forest. DFID provided £1.5 million to the RFT in the early 1990s as part of the $58 million support by G7 donors. The RFTs support for civil society networks included $800,000 to Rede Mata Atla(r)ntica (RMA), a non-governmental network seeking to conserve the Atlantic Rain Forest. The Society of Friends of Iracambi, who are responsible for maintaining the Iracambi ARRC, are a member of the RMA.
Ms Abbott: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what estimate he has made of how many (a) deaths and (b) injuries there have been as a result of the recent flooding in Guyana. 
Mr. Gareth Thomas: As at 2 February 2005 there had been 6 reported deaths associated with the floods. It is, however, expected that deaths will increase as a result of poor sanitation and water-borne or water related illnesses. Education advisories (information notices put out by a Guyana government information service) are informing communities on how to reduce health risks.
The Government of Guyana's Ministry of Health and the Pan-American Health Organisation's (PAHO) country team are currently developing a database to monitor and track outbreaks of disease. This will allow appropriate health safeguard measures to be put in
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place, and rapid health responses to be mobilised and should help avoid epidemics. The main concern at the moment is over an increased incidence of leptospirosis, which is a bacterial disease caused by exposure to water contaminated by infected animals.
DFID's relief interventions will be focused on the water and sanitation and public health aspects. Through our support to both PAHO (£57,000) and the United Nations Children's Fund (£80,000), we will be directly contributing to ensuring safe and clean drinking water is available to approximately 40,000 children and appropriate sanitation and environmental health initiatives are in place for some 195,000 people/35,000 households.
The UK makes a further contribution to the water and sanitation aspects of the relief programme through the European Community Humanitarian Assistance (ECHO). ECHO is providing €100,000 or approximately £69,000 1 of which UK share at 18 per cent. is £12,420, to PAHO for medical supplies. ECHO is also providing €200,000, approximately £138,000 2 of which UK share at 18 per cent. is £24,840, to Oxfam for water and sanitation work.
Ms Keeble: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development (1) whether his Department's field offices covering countries with large numbers of orphans and children made vulnerable by HIV and AIDS will be producing (a) detailed action plans and (b) revised country assistance plans setting out how they will be spending the £123 million committed for services to this group; 
(2) how the £123 million committed by the UK Government for responding to the needs of orphans and children made vulnerable by HIV and AIDS in Africa will be allocated between his Department's field offices in different countries. 
Mr. Gareth Thomas: It is important that countries have detailed action plans to address AIDS. DFID country offices make bilateral spending decisions based on countries' articulated priorities as identified through national strategies and detailed action plans which include support to orphans and vulnerable children. These plans are being developed at national level (often with UNICEF support), to create a supportive environment for children's access to health and education, community services and basic needs.
In responding to these action plans, DFID strongly supports the Three Ones" approach: one strategic framework, one AIDS authority and one monitoring system. Thus DFID's own country assistance plans (CAPS) are designed to support the implementation of the Three Ones". All CAPS will reflect and report AIDS initiatives, indicating where more needs to be done. DFID will monitor all CAPS with reports going to the Management Board.
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if he will list the equipment
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leasing arrangements entered into by his Department in each of the last two years; and what the cost is to public funds in each case. 
Mr. Gareth Thomas: No new equipment leasing arrangements were entered into in the UK, in the last two years. Existing arrangements that were already in place, for photocopying equipment, cost £54,737 in 200203 and £41,798 in 200304.
Dr. Tonge: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment he has made of the humanitarian consequences of the confiscation of land in the West Bank from Palestinians following the application of the Absentee Property Law in East Jerusalem. 
Mr. Gareth Thomas: The Government expressed their concern over Israel's application of the Absentee Property Law in East Jerusalem with the Government of Israel. We now welcome the Israeli Attorney General's announcement on 1 February that the application of this law in East Jerusalem is unlawful. We have not made a specific assessment of the humanitarian consequences of the law's application to date, but are investigating whether or not it has deprived any Palestinians of their land in East Jerusalem.
Mr. Gareth Thomas: UK bilateral assistance to Namibia was worth £2.0 million in 200102; £2.2 million in 200203; and £1.4 million in 200304, the last year for which figures are available. The focus of DFID's bilateral programme in Namibia is on developing livelihoods for the poor in the centre and north of the country.
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much (a) financial assistance, (b) logistical assistance and (c) assistance in kind has been provided to Engineers Without Borders UK by his Department for the programme in the Dadiya region of Nigeria with Savanna Conservation Nigeria and Nakruda since its inception; what assessment his Department has undertaken of the (i)economic, (ii) social and (iii) humanitarian impact of the programme; what assessment his Department has made of the long-term viability of the programme; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Gareth Thomas:
DFID is aware of the good work undertaken by Engineers without Borders (EWB) UK. Initiatives such as placements to expose engineering students to work in developing countries while making a positive impact on peoples' lives, and the undertaking of small-scale research projects are welcomed. However,
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DFID has not provided funding for EWB centrally or for its work with the Savanna Conservation Nigeria and Nakruda programme in Nigeria and so has not undertaken any assessments of its activities or long term viability.
Mr. Gareth Thomas: Travel by Ministers makes clear that special flights may be authorised when a scheduled service is not available, or when it is essential to travel by air, but the requirements of official or parliamentary business or security considerations or urgency preclude the journey being made by a scheduled service. In respect of overseas travel by Ministers, since 1999 the Government have published an annual list of all visits overseas undertaken by Cabinet Ministers costing £500 or more during each financial year. The list published in 1999 covers the period 2 May 1997 to 31 March 1999. Where RAF/Private Charter aircraft are used this is shown in the list. The Government has also published on an annual basis the cost of all Ministers' visits overseas. Copies of the lists are available in the Libraries of the House. Information for 200405 will be published in due course.
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