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18 Oct 2005 : Column 875W—continued

Indonesia/Sri Lanka

Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much has been paid to the UK Government in official debt service by (a) Indonesia and (b) Sri Lanka in 2005; what the estimated payments obligation for (i) the remainder of 2005 and (ii) 2006 is; and how much relief has been given in each case. [16931]

Mr. Thomas: Following the December 2004 tsunami, the Paris Club of official (Government) creditors agreed a one year moratorium on payments on eligible loans held by Indonesia and Sri Lanka for 2005, to free up funds for post-tsunami reconstruction.

The UK has no outstanding Paris Club debt from Sri Lanka, and therefore no debt covered by the moratorium. Paris Club debt owed to the UK by Indonesia has been included in the moratorium, with all payments due in 2005 deferred and rescheduled for payment over the following four years. The total amount
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due to the UK in 2005 was approximately £73 million; all of which has been deferred. Approximately £93 million will become due for payment in 2006.

In addition to these Paris Club debts, there are small amounts of debt outstanding to the UK in the form of old CDC (formerly known as the Commonwealth Development Corporation) loans to Indonesia and credits made through the EU and World Bank to Indonesia and Sri Lanka. The CDC loans have been treated in the same way as the Paris Club loans as far as possible, while the credits made through the EU have only recently reverted to bilateral status and will also be treated in accordance with UK bilateral debt relief policies as soon as possible. This process is already under way, in co-ordination with the other EU donors and the World Bank. Payments on these loans made in 2005 and currently scheduled to fall due in 2006 are summarised in the following table:
£ million

IndonesiaSri Lanka
Payments received to date in 20050.020.02
Remaining payments due in calendar
year 2005
Payments due in calendar year 20061.960.04

Seaports (Gaza)

Mr. David Hamilton: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what financial assistance the UK is giving to seaports in Gaza. [17439]

Hilary Benn: The UK expressed support at the Gleneagles summit for James Wolfensohn, Quartet Special Envoy for Disengagement, to stimulate a global financial contribution of up to $3 billion per year over the coming three years. This funding will come from both public and private sources and will assist Palestinian economic regeneration following Israeli disengagement from Gaza and parts of the northern West Bank.

Mr. Wolfensohn is working closely with the World Bank in supporting the Palestinian Authority to prepare a Medium Term Development Plan for presentation to donors in December 2005. This plan will reflect the six priority areas for joint working between Israelis and Palestinians already identified by Mr. Wolfensohn. These priorities include the construction of an airport and seaport for Gaza as part of the essential easing of current restrictions on the movement of goods and people.

The UK Government are working closely with Mr.Wolfensohn and the Palestinian Authority to help ensure that our assistance is in line with the Medium Term Development Plan, its priorities and timescales. The current expectation is that most of our funding will be delivered in 2006 and beyond.

St. Helena

Mr. Lancaster: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what actions his Department took to ensure it got best value in the awarding of contracts for improving tourism in St. Helena. [17732]

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Hilary Benn: DFID awarded one contract focused on tourism development in St. Helena. This was worth £65,000. The contract was awarded after competition, against clear evaluation criteria related to quality of methodology, relevant previous experience, and commercial factors.

Mr. Lancaster: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what his Department's policy is regarding the involvement of companies in consultancy as well as receiving public funding for tourism projects on the island of St. Helena. [17733]

Mr. Thomas: We have no plans to engage any companies for consultancy work on St. Helena, if at the same time as providing them with funding for tourism projects.

Street Children (Central America)

Mr. Hollobone: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if he will make a statement on actions his Department is taking to protect street children in central America from human rights abuses. [17248]

Mr. Thomas: DFID has provided US$150,000 through the Inter American Development Bank to build the capacity of non-governmental organisations in Guatemala to strengthen the human rights of street children. DFID supports the Save the Children Fund (SCF) through a global agreement for its work worldwide, including the SCF office and youth justice initiatives in Honduras. In Nicaragua, DFID supported the work of Casa Alianza until February 2005.


Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment he has made of the impact of common agricultural policy subsidy reductions on sugar cane on the sugar cane industry of Swaziland. [17938]

Hilary Benn: Sugar accounted for about 7.5 per cent. of Swaziland's exports in 2003, about a third of which went to the European Union (EU). Changes to the EU regime, with exports to the EU at a lower price, could lead to a reduction in export earnings since the EU offers a higher price for Swaziland's sugar than other markets.

Recent research indicates, however, that if Swaziland implements planned reforms of its sugar industry and secures unlimited access to the EU market through the proposed Southern African Development Community (SADC) Economic Partnership Agreement, then there should be positive impact on production levels, export earnings and employment. This is in contrast to the possible negative impact in most other African, Caribbean and Pacific Countries (ACP) Sugar Protocol countries. If Swaziland does not secure unlimited access then industry revenue and export earnings would fall from present levels.


Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps his Department is taking to further capacity-building in democratic institutions in Uganda. [17844]

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Hilary Benn: The UK is providing support with others for the political transition in Uganda to help create an environment in which free and fair multiparty elections can take place in 2006. This support includes capacity building assistance for key democratic institutions such as the Uganda Electoral Commission, all the main political parties and the media. We are also supporting a National Civic Education Programme to promote citizens' participation in the political process. We have a long-term programme of support to the Parliament of Uganda. In total, UK financial support for democratic institutions and the election process in Uganda is expected to be £850,000 this financial year. In addition our work to improve transparency in Government and to assist civil society in holding Government to account also supports the general trend towards democracy.

Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what conditions he has set for the resumption of the aid to Uganda which was withheld in April 2004 because of the slow pace of democratisation; and if he will make a statement. [17845]

Hilary Benn: The UK has a Poverty Reduction Budget Support (PRBS) arrangement in Uganda to support the implementation of the Government's Poverty Eradication Action Plan (PEAP). This links assistance to the reforms set out in the PEAP including macro-economic management and governance. In 2004–05, £5 million out of the total PRBS provision of £40 million (and a total Uganda programme of £65 million) was not disbursed because of concerns about the progress of Uganda's political transition leading up to the multiparty elections that will take place early in 2006. A decision on our PRBS commitment of £50 million for 2005–06 will be made after an assessment of economic, financial management and sectoral performance criteria that have been jointly agreed between the Government of Uganda and budget support donors, and after a further review of the political transition also using agreed criteria. The decision will be guided by the UK Government's new policy paper on conditionality.

Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps he is taking to reduce HIV prevalence in internally displaced persons camps in northern and eastern Uganda; and if he will make a statement. [17849]

Hilary Benn: In northern Uganda, which is the area most affected by the conflict and internal displacement, HIV prevalence, as measured at antenatal screening, is between 10 per cent. and 12 per cent. While this figure represents a decline from 26 per cent. in 1993, it is much higher than the national rate of 6.1 per cent.

DFID is committed to reducing the spread of HIV in Uganda. Since 2002 we have spent over £5 million on an HIV/AIDS project which is supporting the work of the Uganda AIDS Commission and civil society organisations who are providing voluntary counselling, testing and treatment and establishing networks of people living with HIV/AIDS.

Our Poverty Reduction Budget Support helps the Government's own response to the pandemic. We are working closely with the Government, the UN and
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other development partners to ensure HIV/AIDS programmes are effectively co-ordinated. The HIV/AIDS programmes of a number of the organisations with which we are working have a special focus on the problem in camps for internally displaced people in northern and eastern Uganda. In addition we are working with UN agencies to reduce the vulnerability of children and women to sexual violence and exploitation in the camps.

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