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6 Jun 2005 : Column 248W—continued

Unmanned Air Vehicle Projects

Mr. Jack: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence which UK-based aerospace companies are undertaking unmanned air vehicle projects funded in whole or in part by his Department. [1173]

Mr. Ingram: At present, both Thales UK and BAE Systems are leading work on unmanned air vehicle projects funded by the Ministry of Defence.
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Monday 6 June 2005


Asian Tsunami

John Hemming: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what his estimate is of total Government funds that will have been disbursed following the South East Asian tsunami; and what estimate his Department has made of what proportion of those funds will be paid to UK public sector bodies. [915]

Hilary Benn: The Government have programmed some £67 million of their commitment of £75 million for the relief and recovery effort. I expect the full sum to be disbursed. The Government have also committed up to £65 million as the United Kingdom's contribution towards reconstruction and in addition, the Government will be contributing an estimated £50 million to the Disasters Emergency Committee appeal, through the tax relief on public donations made through the Gift Aid scheme and making a special donation to offset the Value Added Tax on goods sold to raise money for the tsunami-affected areas. Debt relief for affected countries is presently being discussed and will provide additional resources for partner Government's to respond to public need.

DFID's support to the relief and recovery effort is mainly channelled through the United Nations, the Red Cross movement and in support of non-governmental organisations. Some direct action has also been undertaken including support from United Kingdom military assets. The marginal cost of the support provided by the Ministry of Defence is currently estimated at £2.75 million.


Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many consultants were employed by his Department in each of the last three years; and what their names were. [1331]

Mr. Thomas: DFID awarded the following numbers of contracts from its headquarters office in each of the last three years:
Number of contractsNumber of contractors

Details of these contracts are published on the DFID website This does not include lower-value contracts issued by DFID's overseas offices, of which there is no consolidated central record. It would incur a disproportionate cost to produce a list of all those individual contracts.


Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assurances he has
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received from the Indonesian Government that debt relief will not be used to support arms sales to the UK; and if he will make a statement. [1396]

Mr. Thomas: As a result of the tsunami disaster which hit the Indian Ocean region on the 26 December 2004, the Paris Club creditors agreed to offer Indonesia and other eligible sovereign countries a debt service payment moratorium for one year. The Indonesian Government have agreed that the savings from this will be used directly to benefit the populations affected by the tsunami.

Together with a number of other donors, DFID has also committed £4.7 million over two phases to an Indonesian-led organisation dedicated to promoting good governance called the Governance Partnership. This provides support to tackling corruption including supporting new state-sponsored anti-corruption organisations, and enhancing development of a modern, pluralistic democracy.


Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how he expects the £300 million of British aid to southern Sudan to be spent. [1478]

Hilary Benn: DFID has provisionally allocated £282.7 million across the whole of Sudan over the next three financial years. This money is not earmarked between north and south Sudan. We have, however, pledged £23.5 million over three years to the World Bank's multi donor trust fund for South Sudan (we are making an equal commitment to the same Fund for the North). We have also allocated some £2.6 million for UNICEF's interim Capacity Building Trust Fund for the South.

While exact allocation of the remaining funds will be decided over the coming months and years, our support is likely to focus on humanitarian relief; delivery of basic social services (including working closely with other donors in South Sudan to ensure that the Government of South Sudan has the capacity effectively to deliver services to all their citizens, including returned refugees and internally displaced people); rule of law; disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration of soldiers; and enhancing the accountability of the Security Sector.

As part of our efforts to harmonise donor assistance we are committed to developing a joint programme and office in the south with the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and any other interested donors. We hope this programme will be in place by the end of this calendar year.

John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what action his Department has taken to ensure that humanitarian access in Darfur is improved in preparation for the rainy season. [863]

Hilary Benn: DFID is working through the UN to ensure humanitarian access is improved in advance of the rainy season. This year DFID has made a £45 million contribution to humanitarian parts of the UN 2005 Workplan for Sudan to meet needs across the country. Of the £45 million, around £1 million went to the World Food Programme's (WFP) logistics for their emergency food aid operation in Darfur, and a further
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£1 million went towards funding the operation of the UN Humanitarian Air Service. The remainder went to support a range of UN agencies and NGOs including £10 million for health care projects, £8.9 million towards food aid, £5.5 million for water and sanitation projects, £4.8 million to help improve people's livelihoods, and £4.7 million to protect vulnerable people affected by the crisis.

The WFP are pre-positioning food stocks across Darfur to help guarantee distributions during the rainy season. So far they have some 28,000 mega tonnes in West Darfur—equivalent to around two months' requirements for that state.

John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent estimate he has made of the number of civilians without access to humanitarian assistance in Darfur. [864]

Hilary Benn: The latest UN Darfur Humanitarian Needs Profile estimates that as of 1 April, a total of 2.62 million people in Darfur were in need of humanitarian assistance, of which 1.96 million were internally displaced. In April the World Food Programme targeted 2.1 million beneficiaries, and reached 1.6 million leaving a shortfall of 500,000 not receiving food aid, largely due to insecurity such as banditry. People that are not provided for will, where feasible, resort to eating wild foods, sell their possessions to purchase food, or move on to other locations. Of all those in need of assistance, 480,000 had no provided shelter, 1.1 million did not have clean water and 870,000 did not have access to primary health care.


Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much aid his Department gave to Uzbekistan between 2001 and 2005. [309]

Mr. Thomas: My Department provided a total of £2,544,000 of bilateral aid to Uzbekistan from 2001 to March 2005. The annual breakdown was as follows:

(1)Financial year March 2001–02

The allocation for 2005–06 is £750,000.

From 2001 to 2004, the focus of this assistance was on primary health care and strengthening civil society. Our current programme focuses on working with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and local government to improve economic growth and reduce poverty for the population of the Zarafshan valley in cross-border work with Tajikistan. We are also working with the World bank and other partners on a regional programme to tackle the emerging HIV/AIDS epidemic. In light of the recent violence in eastern Uzbekistan we have suspended our work with central Government on national poverty statistics.
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The UK's share of multilateral aid to Uzbekistan was £1.4 million for the calendar year 2001–02 and £1.7 million for 2002–03. This was primarily through the European Commission and the United Nations. Information is not yet available concerning individual country shares of multilateral aid to Uzbekistan for 2003–05.

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