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Dr. Tonge: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if he will commission research on the impact of the separation barrier in Palestine on availability of (a) water and (b) arable land to Palestinians. [221823]

Mr. Gareth Thomas: DFID does not plan to commission research on the impact of the separation barrier. Other donors are already active. A preliminary analysis of the barrier's revised route published by the UN's Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in March 2005 identified that some 142,640 acres (10 per cent.) of West Bank land will lie between the completed barrier and the Green Line. This is some of the most fertile land in the West Bank and
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currently home to 49,400 Palestinians. Thousands more Palestinians living to the east of the barrier will be separated from their land on the west. The OCHA plans to publish a more extensive technical analysis towards the end of this month. Other bodies researching this issue include the DFID-funded Palestinian Negotiations Support Unit (NSU). The NSU's work indicates that the barrier will deny Palestinian access to 25 per cent. of the 20 million cu m of groundwater currently abstracted annually from the Western Aquifer Basin, and that in the Eastern Aquifer Basin estimated losses will be in the order of 3 to 5 million cu m per year.


Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what part his Department's aid programmes have played in the effort to reduce poverty in Vietnam. [221761]

Mr. Gareth Thomas: The Government of Vietnam have made rapid progress in reducing poverty in recent years and in maintaining a high rate of economic growth. The number of people living in poverty halved from 58 per cent. in 1993 to 29 per cent. in 2002 and economic growth has averaged approximately 7 per cent. per annum over the last 10 years.

This progress is a result of the Government of Vietnam's programme of economic reform and sustained commitment to development and poverty reduction. Recognising that Vietnam is an environment in which aid works, DFID has rapidly increased its programme in Vietnam from £6 million in 2000–01 to an expected spend of £55 million in 2005–06. The DFID programme supports the Government of Vietnam's own poverty reduction and growth strategy. We work very closely with the Government and other donors to support the reform process and ensure that we achieve the maximum impact from the use of our resources. We co-finance the poverty reduction support credit with eight other donors. Key outcomes of our assistance include helping to define methods to target and reach the poor more effectively, and the development of policies in Vietnam that lead to broad-based growth and poverty reduction.

Despite these notable successes, approximately 23 million people still live below the poverty line and an estimated 8.8 million live in hunger. DFID supports rural development programmes in the poorest regions of Vietnam such as the Northern Mountains and Central Highlands. We also support Government targeted poverty reduction programmes that include investments in roads, irrigation, village classrooms, commune health centres and clean water schemes in the poorest communes. In transport, DFID has co-financed a programme that will have built over 2,000 roads linking communes to markets in rural Vietnam by the end of 2005. Evaluations of these road programmes show positive results such as stimulating economic growth and increasing school attendance. In education, we are collaborating with Government and other donors to support the achievement of education for all objectives: 100 per cent. attendance at primary school, and 100 per cent. adult literacy.
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DFID also supports poverty reduction in Vietnam through its contributions to the European Commission development budget (currently approximately 18 per cent. of the total budget). The EC spent €28.1 million in Vietnam in 2003 (UK contribution: €5.06 million), and is committed to spend €112 million between 2004 and 2006 (UK contribution: €21.6 million).



Ann Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of whether the correct protocol was followed for Infantry regiments which have a non-British colonel in chief being downgraded to battalions. [221484]

Mr. Ingram: I am satisfied that all issues surrounding the Future Army Structure were handled correctly.


Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many medically trained staff are serving in Iraq; and if he will make a statement. [215074]

Mr. Caplin [holding answer 10 February 2005]: There are some 335 UK medically trained staff in Iraq. We have defined these as personnel that have medical, nursing or paramedical training and whose primary role when deployed is the co-ordination or delivery of medical care.

Nuclear Proliferation Treaty Review

Mr. Blizzard: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what his priorities are for the forthcoming Nuclear Proliferation Treaty Review Conference in May. [221640]

Mr. Hoon: The United Kingdom's goals for the Review Conference are to make the case for stronger and more effective counter-proliferation measures and to emphasise the importance of compliance with the Treaty. We will do this in the context of emphasising the UK's good record on nuclear disarmament. The UK will produce for the Review Conference the concluding part of three reports of the studies that MOD and AWE have conducted on the verification of nuclear disarmament since the 2000 Review Conference and those involved in the studies will make a presentation on them.

Nuclear Warheads

Mr. Salmond: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many vehicles are available exclusively to transport nuclear materials related to the United Kingdom nuclear weapons programme. [222053]

Mr. Hoon: Ten vehicles are available to transport nuclear materials related to the United Kingdom nuclear weapons programme. This fleet comprises of two types of vehicle: the Truck Cargo Heavy Duty Mk 2, which is used to transport nuclear weapons, and the High Security Vehicle, which is used to transport Special Nuclear Materials.
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Oath of Allegiance

Ann Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the wording is of the oath of allegiance which military personnel swear. [221483]

Mr. Caplin: The wording of the oath of allegiance is as follows:

Those who do not believe in God,

Overseas Military Training

Mr. Wareing: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list countries whose armed forces received military training and advice in the United Kingdom during the period 2001 to 2004. [221193]

Mr. Caplin [holding answer 14 March 2005]: During the period 2001 to 2004, armed forces of 133 countries received military training and advice from the Ministry of Defence. A complete list of countries is as follow:

Countries whose military forces have been provided with training in the UK: Period 2001–04

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