Previous Section Index Home Page

12 Oct 2005 : Column 480W—continued

Toxic Waste

Mike Penning: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much toxic waste was transported through Hemel Hempstead constituency from and to other locations in the last year for which figures are available; and if she will make a statement. [16715]

Mr. Bradshaw: The Environment Agency's hazardous waste data system on the movement of hazardous waste within England and Wales, which is based on statutory powers, does not record the route or method of transport used.

Separate controls apply to the import and export of hazardous waste from the UK. These controls provide some route details but do not provide a level of detail to establish what, if any, shipments pass through the Hemel Hempstead constituency.


Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many countries allow the hunting of whales; and how many whales were killed in 2004–05, broken down by species. [7660]

Mr. Bradshaw: Seven countries are currently involved in whaling operations. Of these, Norway carries out commercial whaling under objection to the International Whaling Commission Moratorium. Japan and Iceland take whales under special permit (so called "scientific" whaling) and the remaining four countries are involved in aboriginal subsistence whaling.

Aboriginal whaling is not affected by the moratorium on commercial whaling and is permitted under IWC rules from Denmark (Greenland, fin and minke whales), the Russian Federation (Siberia, gray whales), St. Vincent and the Grenadines (humpback whales), and the USA (Alaska, bowhead and occasionally off Washington State, gray whales).

In 2004–05 13 fin, one humpback, 1,368 minke, three sperm, 44 bowhead, 11 gray, 100 sei and 51 brydes were killed, as reported to the International Whaling Commission.



Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what studies his Department has undertaken on the impact of Crossrail construction on building stability in the Spitalfields area. [15918]

12 Oct 2005 : Column 481W

Derek Twigg: The Crossrail environmental statement (ES) and its accompanying technical reports published in February 2005 contained an assessment of potential settlement along the route.

Analysis of settlement is an ongoing activity that will be reviewed and updated as the detailed design of the project is developed. Further assessments will be undertaken for buildings within the zone potentially affected by settlement. Where significant settlement is expected to occur, measures will be taken to mitigate the effects.

Details of the assessment process, surveys, monitoring, protection and remedial work is outlined in the Crossrail policy on Ground Settlement published in February 2005. The policy document, the ES and the technical reports have all been published and can be found



5. Mr. Goodwill: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if he will make a statement on the humanitarian situation in Sudan. [16767]

Hilary Benn: 1.8 million people have been forced to flee their homes in Darfur and just under 3.5 million are now dependent on humanitarian assistance. Although the latest UN mortality survey shows that the number of deaths has decreased significantly since last year, banditry and the recent increase in violence are a cause of considerable concern.

In Southern Sudan malnutrition levels are in places, as bad as in Darfur. The situation should improve after the anticipated good harvest, but there will still be areas where food is insufficient. People are now returning home to the South, but the humanitarian and development needs there are enormous.

Millennium Development Goals

9. Chris McCafferty: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what progress was made at the UN World Summit towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals. [16771]

Hilary Benn: The outcome document agreed at the World summit in September consolidates all the achievements on development of the G8 summit at Gleneagles in July. For the first time, there was an unambiguous commitment by the UN's 191 member states to accelerate progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), acknowledging the special needs of Africa. The need for urgency is underlined. Reflecting the Gleneagles communiqué on Africa, the Document reaffirms the central principle that developing countries must take primary responsibility for their own development. It also welcomes the commitments of the G8 and EU to increase and improve development assistance to contribute to achievement of the MDGs.
12 Oct 2005 : Column 482W

11. Barbara Follett: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what measures he is taking to ensure that the Millennium Development Goals to promote gender equality and empower women in the developing world by 2015 are met. [16773]

Mr. Thomas: Eliminating gender inequality and promoting women's empowerment are essential to the achievement of all the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). DFID's strategy for promoting gender equality is set out in the document "Poverty Elimination and the Empowerment of Women", available on DFID's website. DFID also supports specific activities to promote the rights of women and girls, including in the areas of girls' education, maternal mortality and reproductive health.


10. Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if he will make a statement on the humanitarian situation in Niger. [16772]

Hilary Benn: I refer the hon. Member to my statement of 11 October 2005, Official Report, column 26WS, on the food crisis in Niger.

Mr. Mark Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development when he was first informed of the gravity of the famine in Niger; and if he will make a statement. [16775]

Hilary Benn: DFID has been following events in the Sahel, including Niger, since the locust invasion of last year. We made our first contribution to the humanitarian effort in June of this year when NGO surveys made it clear that emergency feeding programmes and nutritional therapy for malnourished children were required. My statement to Parliament on the food crisis in Niger of 11 October provides the details of our response.

G8 Summit (Gleneagles)

12. Mark Lazarowicz: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what progress he is making in implementing the agreements on aid and debt reached at the G8 summit at Gleneagles. [16774]

Hilary Benn: At the UN World summit, the EU statement confirmed that a group of willing countries would implement the international finance facility (IFF) as a component of the EU development financing package consisting also of the new EU oda/GNI target, debt relief and an air ticket levy. On the G8 proposal for 100 per cent. debt stock cancellation, the International Development Association (IDA) and International Monetary Fund (IMF) components of this were agreed by the annual meetings of the World Bank and IMF, and the approval process is under way in the African Development Bank. Progress continues on full implementation and financing of the heavily indebted poor countries (HIPC) initiative. As a result of the extended HIPC sunset clause for which the UK lobbied, more countries are likely to become eligible for debt relief.
12 Oct 2005 : Column 483W

Sub-Saharan Africa

14. Mr. Tom Clarke: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much his Department has spent on aid for sub-Saharan Africa in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement. [16776]

Hilary Benn: Total DFID bilateral aid to sub-Saharan Africa in each of the last five years has been as follows. DFID provided £626 million in 2000–01; £533 million in 2001–02; £700 million in 2002–03; £672 million in 2003–04; and £825 million in 2004–05. Figures for 2004–05 are provisional pending the publication of Statistics on International Development 2005 later this month.

DFID will provide over £1 billion bilateral aid to sub-Saharan Africa during 2005–06.

Next Section Index Home Page