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Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment he has made of the potential danger to workers involved in the flower industry in Kenya due to exposure to chemicals; and if he will make a statement. [28097]

Hilary Benn: DFID has been working with stakeholders in the Kenyan flower industry since 2003, in the face of a possible boycott by European buyers on the grounds of labour rights abuses on flower farms.

DFID, together with the Dutch, is supporting the Kenyan Ethical Horticultural Business Initiative (HEBI). This is a 'not for profit' organisation with a board comprising all those involved in the industry as well as Government, human rights organisations and unions representing the workers. Pilot audits, which include assessments of exposure to chemicals, on eight farms, revealed that while some problems exist the industry generally is socially responsible. But to ensure that internationally recognised social business practices are being followed, the HEBI has produced a code of practice for flower farmers. This includes a regular independent audit and inspection of flower farms and a better understanding by growers and workers of their social and legal rights and obligations.

South Asian Earthquake

Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many tents have been sent from the UK as part of the UK's contribution to the South Asian earthquake emergency relief response from (a) UK Government Departments, (b) NGOs and others through the Disasters Emergency Committee and (c) NGOs and charities which did not use the DEC as the conduit for delivery of aid. [27854]

Mr. Thomas: DFID has sent 5,500 winterised family tents in response to the South Asian earthquake. The Government of Pakistan reports that 335,393 tents have been distributed in total, and the Government of
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Pakistan and the United Nations are confident that up to a further 300,000 tents will be delivered by the end of the month. DFID does not have figures for the number of tents delivered by the independent agencies of the Disasters Emergency Committee or other non-governmental organisations.

Sir Michael Spicer: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many UK helicopters are helping with the relief following the earthquake in Pakistan; and what plans he has to increase this number in the immediate future. [26148]

Mr. Thomas: The Ministry of Defence has three CH-47 Chinook helicopters, operational since 28 October, assisting with the relief effort at DFID's request. DFID has also channelled £2 million through the International Committee of the Red Cross and £1 million through the World Food Programme which includes support to helicopter provision. DFID has channelled a further £1.5 million through the United Nations Humanitarian Air Service also for helicopter provision. As of 9 November, there were 102 helicopters in operation with an additional 16 in the pipeline. We are monitoring the overall situation with regard to helicopter provision and examining options to ensure appropriate numbers and types are available.

Palestinian Authority

Mr. David Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much aid from the UK has been committed to (a) the Palestinian Authority and (b) non-governmental organisations operating in Palestine since the inception of the Authority. [26509]

Hilary Benn: During the period 1994 to 2004, the UK provided a total of £104 million official development assistance to the West Bank and Gaza. Nearly £31 million of this assistance was channelled through non-governmental organisations. A further £153 million humanitarian assistance was given to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency over the same time period.

Palm Oil

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent discussions he has had with (a) the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry and (b) others on the destruction of the habitat of the orang-utan due to the increased demand for palm oil in the UK. [28000]

Mr. Thomas: Neither I nor my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for International Development have discussed this issue with the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry.

The UK Government are in discussion with EU member states about the threats to tropical rainforests caused by oil palm expansion and is taking the following steps to tackle this problem.

My right hon. Friend and the Under-Secretary with responsibility for rural affairs, landscape and biodiversity, my hon. Friend the Member for South Dorset (Jim Knight), recently represented the UK at an inter-governmental meeting on the Great Apes Survival Project (GRASP) which covers orang-utans. The Kinshasa intergovernmental meeting in September,
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formally adopted a Global Great Apes Conservation Strategy and an aspirational declaration. This commits range states of great apes to a number of actions and targets, including slowing the loss of great apes and their forest habitats by 2010.

The UK has been wholly supportive of the GRASP mission. The Government, through the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), has committed around £600,000 to the Great Apes Survival Project.

The UK Government also support the conservation and sustainable management of rainforests. DFID, together with DEFRA and FCO, is helping developing countries to address the governance and market failures that drive illegal and unsustainable logging of forests. DFID supports the Multistakeholder Forestry Programme in Indonesia which is strengthening forest management and helping to protect forest habitats, including those of the orang-utan.

Defra, through the Darwin Initiative, is also helping countries to design and implement conservation measures to address the loss of forest biodiversity and rare natural habitats.

Republic of Yemen

Mr. David Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what the value of grants in aid made to the Republic of Yemen was in each of the last five years for which figures are available. [26434]

Hilary Benn: Grants in aid, including grants to voluntary organisations, form one part of DFID's larger bilateral assistance package. The latest figures of the value of grants in aid provided by DFID to the Republic of Yemen in each of the last financial years is as follows:
£ million


Julie Morgan: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what percentage of funding for all countries to which the Department gives direct budget support is attributable to the control and treatment of TB in 2005–06. [25501]

Mr. Thomas: It is not currently possible to give a percentage figure for funding spent directly on TB control and treatment from total direct budget support which DFID provides. This is because national governments do not have financial accounting systems that trace the proportion of direct budget support spent on individual diseases. However, DFID provides a significant part of its funding directly to government budgets in support of their overall strategies for poverty reduction ('Poverty Reduction Budget Support'). DFID provided £423 million in 2004–05 in this way, partner
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governments may use some part of this directly for TB control activities, or for building up health services to diagnose and treat TB as well as other major causes of ill health.

Water and Sanitation (Funding)

Ms Dari Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development (1) if he will use the UK's presidency of the EU to ensure that the commitments in the United Nations Millennium Review Summit Outcome Document for better targeting of aid are applied by all EU member states to their aid for water and sanitation; [26104]

(2) if he will use the UK's presidency of the EU to ensure that the recommendation of the Commission for Africa for a reversal starting in 2005 of the decline in aid for water and sanitation is adopted by all member states. [26103]

Hilary Benn: The UK presidency is actively engaged in negotiations with the European Commission and European Parliament to agree a new Development Policy Statement that will set the framework within which all EU aid is spent. DFID is working to ensure that the Statement agrees that aid is focused on poverty reduction, meeting the Millennium Development Goals (MDG)s—including those related to water and sanitation—and the needs identified by partner countries. I chaired a debate about the statement at the informal meeting of EU Development Ministers in Leeds on 25 October. It is hoped that we will reach final agreement at the meeting of EU Development Ministers that I will chair in Brussels 22 November.

I have also tabled a paper on EU aid effectiveness that will be debated at the same meeting. This includes language on promoting a more effective allocation of resources and asking member states to publish projections of aid by type, including water and sanitation, and country over the next three years and if possible longer.

The 22 November Council will also agree a contribution to a new EU Strategy for Africa that should be agreed at the December European Council. The Strategy will include action on water and sanitation. We are hopeful that this will result in member states increasing their allocations to water supply and sanitation.

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