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Written Answers to Questions

Thursday 19 January 2006


Cutlery Thefts

Mr. Evans: To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission how much cutlery went missing from the House of Commons Refreshment Department in 2005. [43284]

Nick Harvey: No separate record is kept of cutlery missing from the restaurants and bars of the House of Commons. In 2005, the Refreshment Department spent £10,630 to replace cutlery lost or damaged through general wear and tear, or to meet changes in the demand for catering services.

Departmental Staff

Bob Spink: To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission how many disciplinary actions against employees of the House of Commons (a) were commenced and (b) resulted in a sanction being applied in each of the last five years. [43502]

Nick Harvey: The information requested is as follows:
Disciplinary actions commencedNumber of actions resulting in sanction

Figures for earlier years were not centrally collated.

Public Gallery (Security Screen)

Mr. Kemp: To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission what assessment the Commission has made of the impact of the new security screen on visitor numbers to the Public Gallery in the Chamber. [43520]

Nick Harvey: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 9 January 2006, Official Report, columns l-2W.


Birth Control

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much EU aid was given to (a) the United Nations Population Fund, (b) the International Planned Parenthood Federation and (c) Marie Stopes International in each year since 1999. [41760]

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Mr. Thomas: EU aid, provided by the European Commission, to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the International Planned Parenthood Foundation (IPPF) and Marie Stopes International (MSI) since 1999 is as follows:
(a) The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)

Thousand ($)

(b) The International Planned Parenthood Foundation (IPPF)

Thousand (£)

(1) Figure not yet available

(c) Marie Stopes International (MSI)

Thousand (£)

(2) Figure not yet available

Cape Verde Islands

Hugh Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development (1) what representations he has received from the government of the Cape Verde islands about illegal drugs; [43639]

(2) what measures the UK Government are taking to combat drug running in the Cape Verde islands. [43640]

Dr. Howells: I have been asked to reply.

UK law enforcement agencies have reported a recent growth in the trafficking of illicit drugs through West Africa, including Cape Verde. We welcome the Cape Verdian Government's strong commitment to enforcing the rule of law and taking action against international organised crime. As a result of a short-term assessment of the increased use of Cape Verde as a drugs transit route, we are engaged with the Cape Verdian Government and other international partners in the region to identify both the nature of this development and how shared resources might be deployed to the region to best effect.

Our Ambassador to Senegal, who has responsibility for the Islands of Cape Verde, met with Cape Verdian Ministers and officials in December 2005 to discuss a range of issues affecting the islands. In addition, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the
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Department for International Development (Hilary Benn) is writing to the Cape Verdian Minister of Foreign Affairs about our work, with EU partners, to help the Cape Verde authorities tackle the growing problem of illicit drug trafficking through the region.

Climate Change

Colin Challen: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what financial contribution the UK has made to the (a) UN framework convention on climate change least developed countries fund, (b) special climate change fund and (c) adaptation fund under the Kyoto protocol. [41303]

Mr. Thomas: The UN framework convention on climate change least developed countries fund will support national adaptation programmes in the poorest developing countries. Operational guidance for the fund was recently adopted by parties at the climate change conference in Montreal, December 2005. When the programming document for the fund is agreed by the Council of the Global Environment Facility, who will oversee the operation of the fund, the UK will consider providing finance. We recognise the fund's importance in helping Governments of the poorest developing countries manage the effects of climate change.

As of April 2005, nine donors, including the UK, pledged approximately £19 million to the special climate change fund. The UK contribution amounts to over half of this;—£10 million over three years: 2005–06, 2006–07 and 2007–08. This will be available to support any developing country in managing the effects of climate change.

Parties to the UN convention on climate change deferred a decision on activating the adaptation fund until management arrangements have been agreed, which should take place this year. The principle revenue stream to the fund will come from a 2 per cent. levy on emissions trading under the clean development mechanism.

Democracy Projects

Mr. MacShane: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if he will list the projects being supported by his Department for the promotion of democracy in (a) China, (b) the Balkans region, (c) Kenya, (d) Uganda, (e) Eritrea, (f) the Russian Federation, (g) Pakistan and (h) Burma; what the nature of the support is in each case; and how much funding has been allocated to each project. [41950]

Mr. Thomas: In China, DFID supports the promotion of grassroots democracy across its projects, through promoting the participation of poor people in decision making. Such participation is institutionalised in some projects through the creation of community based organisations such as water user associations.

In the Balkans, DFID currently has a £900,000 programme of support to 'Standards for Kosovo'. About £150,000 is earmarked for support to functioning democratic institutions.

In Kenya, DFID has provided £5,140,000 over five years for the Political Empowerment Programme. The programme is meant to build demand to ensure a fair,
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inclusive, consultative and sustainable democratic process in the country. The support consists of: £900,000 to civic education, £150,000 to the Electoral Commission of Kenya, £250,000 to support a resource centre for Parliament, £300,000 for political parties to monitor the recent constitutional referendum, £450,000 spent on domestic observation of the 2002 elections and £500,000 reserved for the same in the 2007 elections. DFID has also provided £5,377,918 over six years to support participatory local governance and democratisation at the grassroots level.

In Uganda, DFID has provided £600,000 to the donor funded Election Support Programme, which is designed to improve the prospects for free and fair elections. It includes support for the Uganda Electoral Commission, domestic election observers, increasing women's participation in the political process and strengthening independent media coverage of the elections. DFID has also committed £400,000 to the national civic education programme, which aims to empower Ugandans to participate effectively in promoting accountability and transparency in national and local politics. A further £50,000 has been contributed to a donor basket fund supporting the Parliament of Uganda with the aim of improving democratic governance.

In Eritrea, DFID does not have any projects to support the promotion of democracy.

In Pakistan, DFID has provided £525,000 to build the capacity of parliamentarians at the federal and provincial levels; £326,000 to strengthen the capacity of local political party branches and £208,531 for election monitoring to develop an understanding of the processes and outcomes of the 2005 local elections. DFID is also supporting the promotion of grassroots democracy across its projects by providing: £2.8 million for a Gender Equality Project through the British Council to strengthen the capacity of local organisations to achieve access for women to political and economic decision making, protection from violence, and equal treatment in law; £18 million through the Asian Development Bank to strengthen the ability of civil society to demand improved delivery of services and access to justice and approximately £5 million for a Citizen Empowerment Initiative to strengthen the capacity of civil society organisations to engage government on issues of social exclusion, human rights and poverty reduction.

In Russia, DFID has promoted democracy by addressing issues of community participation, voice and accountability across the technical cooperation programmes. The ongoing projects include: a £3,800,000 Public Administration and Civil Service Reform Project to ensure greater transparency of the civil service, to promote freedom of information and to encourage civilian participation in the public administration reform process; £4,980,000 Support to Poverty Reduction in Leningrad Region (Oblast) Programme to strengthen the capacity of the region and municipal authorities to develop community-based alternatives to service delivery and alternative approaches to income earning for young people of mixed abilities.

In Burma, DFID does not fund any projects solely focused on promoting democracy. DFID works with a range of partners including the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), the UN and international
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NGOs across health, education and livelihoods issues in a way that empowers civil society and communities. For example, DFID is providing £4 million to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) over four years to help improve livelihoods for poor rural people through participatory local-level decision making.

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