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20 Jun 2005 : Column 697W—continued


Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if he will make a statement on progress in the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in the Sudan; whether the timetable is being adhered to; what pressure he is bringing to bear on parties to ensure that deadlines are adhered to; and how the UK has monitored progress since the departure of the UK special envoy. [5003]

Hilary Benn: Implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) is moving forward, but is behind schedule. The crucial National Constitutional Review Commission, to which the UK provided technical expertise, will complete its work on the Interim National Constitution shortly. The presidency is due to be inaugurated, on time, on 9 July, but the formation of the Government of National Unity will be delayed by up to one month, to allow the presidency to conclude discussions on the new Government.

During my recent visit to Sudan, I pressed the parties urgently to implement the agreement, and will continue to do so. Implementation is a huge task, and our assessment is that delays are due in large part to a lack of capacity of the parties to implement the agreement. This underlines the need for international support, which DFID is are already providing, and have made clear our willingness to do more. Through the embassy in Khartoum and the (expanded) joint DFID/FCO Sudan unit in London, we will continue to monitor implementation of the CPA and work to support the parties in achieving this. We are also urging others to do more.

On 13 June, the Foreign Secretary and I announced that Alan Goulty would be appointed as the UK special representative for Darfur. He will focus on working with the African Union mediation and the parties to achieve a political solution for Darfur, within the framework of the CPA. Mr. Goulty brings a wealth of experience to this role.

John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development when he expects to complete the arrangements for the UK mortality survey in Darfur; and what his most recent estimate is of the number of people who have died each day on average in Darfur. [4928]

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Hilary Benn: The UK is funding a second World Health Organisation (WHO) mortality survey that is currently being conducted in Darfur. We expect the results will be published by the end of this month.

Very little data are available on mortality rates in Darfur. Estimates from the previous WHO study conducted in August 2004 showed that there had been between 1.5 and 3.3 deaths per 10,000 people per day. This study only surveyed people in accessible internally displaced people (IDPs) camps, and had very little coverage of South Darfur. The new survey is sampling IDPs in camps and settlements, and affected resident populations, and will allow the UN to make more up to date estimates.

John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment he has made of the level of (a) malnutrition and (b) risks to personal health of the displaced people of Darfur. [4929]

Hilary Benn: Malnutrition rates vary across Darfur. The latest UN 'Nutrition in Crisis Situations' report published in May 2005, showed average to precarious malnutrition levels in a number of locations: in South Darfur, 15.6 per cent. of the assessed population of the Gereida Internally Displaced People camp were found to be suffering from global acute malnutrition (GAM) with 4 per cent. suffering severe acute malnutrition (SAM); in Kalma IDP camp, South Darfur, the GAM rate was 9.9 per cent. and the SAM rate was 2.6 per cent.; in West Darfur across three camps in the Jebel Mara area, the GAM rate was 16.2 per cent. and the SAM rate 1.5 per cent. GAM rates of 20 per cent. or above or SAM rates of 5 per cent. or above would denote a very serious situation.

In its latest update on the health situation in Darfur, the World Health Organisation said that between 28 May and 3 June there were 66,617 reported cases of illness among the 1.56 million people under its surveillance in Darfur. The biggest causes of illness were acute respiratory tract infection (17 per cent.), malaria (6 per cent.) and bloody diarrhoea (4 per cent.).

John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what his latest estimate is of the number of people dependent on food aid in Darfur; what the figure was in June 2004; and what his latest assessment is of whether sufficient food is in place to enable those who are dependent on food aid to survive the rainy season. [4930]

Hilary Benn: The World Food Programme's (WFP) latest report shows that in May this year it reached 1.8 million of its 2.3 million target beneficiaries in Darfur. In June 2004 it reached 650,000 of its 1.2 million target.

The WFP have pre-positioned 30,000 metric tonnes, sufficient to cover three months, in West Darfur in advance of the rainy season. For South and North Darfur—where the impact of the rains on access is generally less severe than in West Darfur—the WFP will continue its delivery of food throughout the rainy season. Supplies are mainly brought in via Port Sudan, though the WFP have also recently begun flying food in from Libya.
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John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what representations he has made to the Government of Sudan concerning Mr. Kofi Annan's complaint that the mainly Sudanese humanitarian aid workers in Darfur face constant harassment and interference. [4999]

Hilary Benn: I raised the issue of harassment of humanitarian aid workers with both the Government in Khartoum and with officials in Darfur during my visit to Sudan last week. In particular I raised the arrest of the head of mission and Darfur coordinator of Medecins sans Frontieres (Holland) following the publication of its report on rape and gender based violence in Darfur. I was given an assurance that the matter would be resolved.

Harassment of humanitarian workers and organisations in Darfur is totally unacceptable. It represents a real threat to agencies ability to deliver life-saving assistance to the people who need it. I will continue to press the Government on this both directly and through the British embassy in Khartoum.


Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps the Government are taking to promote economic growth in Tanzania. [2938]

Hilary Benn: The main focus of our programme in Tanzania is to support the Government of Tanzania's own National Strategy for Growth and Reduction of Poverty. This places great importance on economic growth, which has averaged 5.4 per cent. (2.7 per cent. per capita) since 2000, as a means of reducing poverty. Last year DFID allocated £65 million directly to Government budgets to support the National Strategy and also to directly support a Tax Modernisation Programme (TMP) and Business Environment Strengthening Programme (BEST), both of which aim to improve the environment for stronger private sector-led growth. In addition, DFID is funding The Financial Sector Deepening programme which improves the access of small and micro-businesses to financial services.

UN Human Poverty Index

Mr. Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment he has made of the merits of the United Nations Development Programme human poverty index as a measure of poverty; and what account is taken of the human poverty index in the allocation of UK aid to Africa. [4973]

Hilary Benn: The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) human poverty index (HPI) is an internationally recognised measure of poverty. As such, the Department for International Development has not itself assessed its value but has taken account of the comparisons with other indexes, such as the UNDP human development index (HDI), which have been carried out by others. The HPI is considered a useful measure of deprivation.

The HPI is not directly taken into account in the allocation of UK aid to Africa. The allocation model used takes account of gross national income per capita, progress towards the Millennium Development Goals
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and vulnerability to economic shock. However, as the HPI measures deprivation, there are of course indirect links between it and these factors. Factors that will affect the impact of aid, such as governance, are also taken into account when making country allocations.


Breast Cancer

Mr. Iain Wright: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the incidence of breast cancer per 1,000 women has been in (a) England and (b) Hartlepool in each year since 1990. [4331]

John Healey: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician, who has been asked to reply.

Letter from Colin Mowl to Mr. Iain Wright, dated 20 June 2005:

Directly age-standardised incidence rates(4) (per 100,000 females) of female breast(5) cancer in England and Hartlepool Unitary Authority, 1990 to 2002


(4)Age-standardised rates per 100,000 population are directly standardised to the European standard population. In detailed analyses of trends in incidence and mortality over time for a particular cancer, ONS use age-standardised rates. These control for differences in the size and age structure of the population and allow unbiased comparison of rates over time.
(5)From 1990 to 1994, International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision (ICD-9) code 174; from 1995 to 2002, International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision (ICD-10) code C50.
Office for National Statistics

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