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Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps he is taking towards education of the African population on the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, with particular reference to HIV. [25868]

Hilary Benn: Across Africa, DFID supports awareness raising and education about Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) and HIV through our bilateral country programmes, funding to multilateral agencies and global initiatives such as the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

In this way, DFID supports awareness raising and education as an integral part of broader programmes to tackle STI and HIV prevention, which include other activities such as provision of sexual and reproductive health services and commodities (such as male and female condoms). We are also targeting groups such as vulnerable women and young people with appropriate forms of information in addition to sexual and reproductive health services and commodities and we help to reduce the financial and social barriers which can limit access to these services such as tackling stigma and discrimination.

For example, as a part of the Ugandan national HIV programme, DFID funds are used to raise awareness about STIs and HIV through AIDS information centres, youth clubs and schools, radio and newspapers.

DFID has committed to spending £1.5 billion on HIV and AIDS globally over the next three years. Raising awareness of STIs and HIV will remain an important part of the comprehensive approach we support.
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Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps he is taking in international fora to ensure greater protection of refugees in Darfur. [23985]

Hilary Benn: The primary responsibility for the protection of vulnerable people lies with their Government. This was endorsed at the 2005 Millennium Review Summit, to which the Government of Sudan was party. The UK Government continues to press the Government of Sudan on its responsibilities in Darfur, and we press all parties to abide by their commitments they have made. We have done this both directly to the Government of Sudan, and in our role as EU presidency. The UK also played a leading role in securing six recent UN Security Council Resolutions on Sudan, including resolutions 1591 and 1593, which extended the Darfur arms embargo to cover the Government of Sudan, allowed targeted sanctions on individuals responsible for the worst abuses, and referred the situation in Darfur to the International Criminal Court.

The African Union (AU) mission in Darfur is also playing an important role in protecting the people of Darfur. Despite the recent worrying upsurge in violence in Darfur, including the attack on the Aro Sharow camp on 28 September, attacks on civilians have decreased where the AU is deployed. DFID welcomes the ongoing expansion of the force to more than 7,700. The UK has provided £32 million to support the AU mission since its inception. The EU has provided €92 million (£63 million) so far, and has recently committed a further €70 million (£48 million).

The humanitarian community also supports the protection of civilians. This year the UK channelled £45 million through the UN Humanitarian Co-ordinator in Khartoum for humanitarian operations across Sudan, £2.4 million of this was allocated for UN and non-governmental protection work in Darfur, such as advocacy on child protection, victim counselling, work on sexual and gender-based violence, and the monitoring of agreements preventing force returns.


Mr. Burrowes: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what UK Government expenditure on TB control in developing countries (a) was between 2001 and 2004 and (b) is proposed in (i) 2005 and (ii) 2006; how much of this total is accounted for by (A) multilateral and (B) bilateral aid; and how much of the bilateral aid is accounted for by (1) project support, (2) health-sector support and (3) direct budget support. [25898]

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Mr. Thomas: I refer the member for Enfield, Southgate to the response given to my hon. Friend for Cardiff North on 28 October 2005, Official Report, columns 632–33w.

Water and Sanitation (Funding)

Emily Thornberry: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development when, on present trends, he expects the Sanitation Millennium Development target to be met in sub-Saharan Africa. [25910]

Hilary Benn: The most recent survey data (2002) from the United Nations Childrens Fund (UNICEF)/World Health Organisation (WHO) Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP), shows that 440 million people (64 per cent.) in sub-Saharan Africa do not have access to basic sanitation. The JMP analysis suggests that, based on progress between 1990 and 2002, it would take 90 years to achieve the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) target for sanitation in sub-Saharan Africa.

In recognition of this bleak situation, DFID is giving a particular focus to sanitation and supporting a number of bodies working to achieve the target, including the African Ministers' Council on Water, UNICEF and WaterAid. DFID has also recently committed to doubling its expenditure on water and sanitation in Africa over the next three years


John Battle: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assistance the UK Government have given to humanitarian projects in Zimbabwe since September 2001; and what types of project have been supported. [24973]

Hilary Benn: DFID has spent approximately £120 million in Zimbabwe since September 2001. Almost all of this relates to humanitarian assistance, tackling HIV/AIDS and emergency support to the health sector.

Approximately £65 million has been spent in response to the crisis of food insecurity, resulting from a combination of poor Government policies, adverse weather and the HIV/AIDS crisis. DFID has recently pledged a further £10 million to the UN World Food Programme's operations in Zimbabwe. DFID has been one of the major donors supporting the annual humanitarian appeals made through the United Nations. We also provide substantial resources through direct funding of non-governmental organisations (NGOs). Activities which DFID has supported include monthly food distributions to food insecure families, food for families affected by AIDS through home based care programmes, school feeding programmes and supplementary clinic feeding for underweight children.

To date, some £25 million has been spent on health programmes, predominantly for HIV prevention and care. Other health-related support includes basic vaccinations for children, emergency obstetrics care for women, provision of water treatment chemicals, emergency response to cholera outbreaks, provision of commodities to the National Blood Transfusion Service and provision of insecticide-treated bed nets for the prevention of malaria.
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Some £20 million has been allocated to agricultural support to small-scale farmers in communal areas, aimed at increasing productivity and food security at the household level. Other smaller humanitarian programmes include support for displaced people, including those made homeless and destitute by the Government of Zimbabwe's recent slum clearances, and those in danger of HIV/AIDS, exploitation and abuse through irregular migration.



Mike Penning: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps her Department is taking to prevent local abattoirs from closing; and if she will make a statement. [23921]

Jim Knight: The overall number of abattoirs has declined dramatically in Britain in the last few decades, reflecting an increase in slaughtering capacity in fewer and larger abattoirs. Much of this has been due to logistic requirements of the major supermarket chains. Regulatory impacts of measures to improve food safety have also played a part. Some businesses, particularly in older premises, may be faced with investment costs if they are to continue to comply with EU-wide standards for hygienic production.

The Government are nevertheless keen that an appropriate network of abattoirs and cutting plants continue to support sustainable livestock production in Britain. To this end we are encouraging our Regional partners (Government Offices, Regional Development Agencies, Rural Development Service) to develop Regional Red Meat Strategies which recognise the importance of an appropriate red meat infrastructure (abattoirs, cutting plants and marketing).

Agricultural/Horticultural Machinery Imports

Mr. Paice: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions she has had with HM Revenue and Customs regarding the compliance with CE markings of imported agricultural and horticultural machinery. [23801]

Alan Johnson: I have been asked to reply.

Most agricultural and horticultural machinery, whether imported or not, is regulated under the Supply of Machinery (Safety) Regulations 1992 as amended (SI 1992 No. 3073). My officials periodically discuss regulatory issues with HM Revenue and Customs. However the lead enforcement authority for these regulations is the Health and Safety Executive, HM Revenue and Customs has no powers under this legislation.

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