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Avian Influenza

Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assistance is being provided to (a) Nigeria, (b) Niger, (c) Cameroon and (d) other African countries to help combat the spread of avian influenza. [59342]

Mr. Thomas: The threat of avian influenza is of global significance and requires a co-ordinated global response. On 18 January, at the International Pledging Conference on Avian and Human Pandemic Influenza in Beijing, the UK pledged £20 million to help achieve this. We also expressed our willingness to consider requests from developing country Governments to reprioritise DFID country programmes to finance work on influenza. We will ensure that UK support is co-ordinated with the efforts of individual countries and other international donors.

In Nigeria, DFID has committed £800,000 to combat the spread of the disease. Of this, £250,000 was used for the immediate purchase of 15,000 personal protection kits for UN Agencies to distribute through the Nigerian Ministries of Agriculture and Health to front-line workers and those involved in surveillance of the disease. The remaining £550,000 has been given as a grant to the World Health Organisation (WHO) which is leading the international response to avian influenza. The WHO will use the funds to support the Government of Nigeria at both federal and state level in reducing the opportunity of human infection, ensuring that the surveillance systems are in place and active, and undertaking assessment of laboratory facilities.

The UK has not provided direct assistance to Niger or Cameroon to tackle avian influenza. We do not have major programmes in either country, though we do support forestry reform in Cameroon and have provided significant humanitarian assistance to Niger. We are closely monitoring the situation in both countries.

Through our ongoing involvement in Africa, DFID is keeping abreast of countries' own plans and the activities of international organisations and donors relating to avian flu. We are in regular discussion with African countries about possible UK support to help develop and implement their influenza strategies. For example, DFID has committed £1 million to prevention and control of the disease in Ethiopia. £700,000 will be used for early detection, prevention and control and £300,000 will be used to establish a national focal point to address the threat posed by a human influenza pandemic.


John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what the total UK aid allocation for Burma was in each of the last five years; and how much of the allocated budget was spent. [52208]

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Mr. Thomas: Over the last five years the Department of International Development (DFID) allocation for assistance and spend in to Burma has been:
£ million


(3)no budget
In 2000–01 and 2001–02 there was no set budget—expenditure was in response to appeals for humanitarian assistance.

The significant difference between allocation and spend which occurred in 2002–03 is due to the fact that DFID made faster than expected progress in the development of a programme in response to the challenge of HIV and AIDS in Burma.

Flooding (Mozambique)

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what discussions he has had with (a) members and (b) representatives of the Government of Mozambique concerning flood-preparedness levels around the Zambesi river; what assistance has been (i) requested, (ii) pledged and (iii)delivered to respond to a flooding of the Zambesi river; and if he will make a statement. [59588]

Mr. Thomas: DFID maintains close contact with Mozambique's National Institute for the Management of Natural Disasters (INGC) which is responsible for managing Mozambique's preparation for and response to flooding. We have already responded by providing £40,000 of funding to Save the Children UK to supply emergency kits to some of the people who were displaced by the floods earlier this year. We will continue to monitor the situation through the INGC to assess whether further funding is needed.

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment his Department has made of (a) the humanitarian impact of flooding in the Zambesi and Sofala provinces in Mozambique and (b) the likelihood of such flooding occurring in 2006; and if he will make a statement. [59637]

Mr. Thomas: DFID maintains close contact with Mozambique's National Institute for the Management of Natural Disasters (INGC) which is responsible for monitoring the situation in co-ordination with the National Water Department (DNA). Flooding has been most intensive in the lower Zambezi and Pungue river basins. Nonetheless, the DNA is optimistic that any further large scale flooding on the Zambezi will be avoided, because the amount of water entering the lake behind the Cahora Bassa dam is falling, thus reducing the need, to increase discharges into the lower river. Based on historic patterns the likelihood of more extensive flooding will diminish from the end of March.
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John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment he has made of the recovery process in Guatemala following Hurricane Stan in 2005. [55432]

Mr. Thomas: The relief effort in Guatemala in the aftermath of Hurricane Stan is coordinated by the Guatemalan Government Agency, CONRED (Co-ordinadora Nacional para la Reduccion de Desastres) and involves a wide number of Government Departments, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), donors and local community groups. Rehabilitation programmes are planned for periods of six-12 months and activities have begun for many of the 1,063 affected communities.

DFID provided £253,000 to the emergency in Guatemala and El Salvador, channelled through Plan International UK and CARE International UK. £172,000 of this is benefiting Guatemala. This is in addition to £690,000 provided as the UK share of European Commission assistance following the disaster. DFID has kept informed of the recovery process through the reports of Plan International and CARE International, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and through contact with the Government of Guatemala.

The most affected parts of the country were the south coast and the western region where 59,000 people were displaced. Since October 2005, at least 12,310 families have been given temporary familial shelters or have been reintegrated into their communities. The Guatemalan Government have undertaken extensive surveys of potential new land for these communities to minimise future risk of exposure to floods and mud-slides.

A key reconstruction priority was ensuring access to safe reliable water, and much of the rehabilitation effort has focused on this. Waterborne disease remains a risk for affected communities and the Ministry of Health have been supported in the provision of transportation services, basic health kits including mosquito nets, and training for communities in health and nutrition awareness. Overall progress in reconstructing sanitation units has been slow, which in many cases has only reached 10 per cent. of target so far. However, some areas have benefited from intensive NGO efforts to ensure safe water, with as many as 10,000 water filters being provided and treatment plants in three municipalities. The installation of systems has been undertaken in close conjunction with local government authorities and communities to ensure sustainability.

Children have been badly affected by the hurricane the most, and those who remain in shelters will continue to receive psychological and educational support from rehabilitation partners. A continuing concern is the restoration of the livelihoods of the communities affected, either through agricultural support to those who returned to their homes, or through income generation opportunities for those who remain in shelters or have been relocated. DFID and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) have been in discussions with the Guatemalan Government to assess how those worst affected by Stan can begin to rehabilitate their livelihoods.
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Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what aid has been given to Indonesia through (a) the Global Opportunities Fund, (b) the Global Conflict Prevention Fund and (c) other sources of Government funds in the last 10 years; and whether conditions relating to (i) the promotion of religious tolerance, (ii) equality under the law and (iii)openness and transparency of government were attached to that funding. [60523]

Mr. Thomas: Assistance has been provided as follows:

The Global Opportunities Fund (GOF) was set up in 2003–04. Since then, the UK has approved over £2.4 million bilateral expenditure to Indonesia for ongoing projects engaging with the Islamic World and Counter Terrorism assistance.

The Global Conflict Prevention Pool, which has been operational since 2001–02 has contributed a total of £3.7 million to conflict prevention related project work in Indonesia.
Bilateral aid to Indonesia over the last 10 years

Amount (£ million)

Statistics on International Development 2000–01 to 2004–05

The figures are for aid classified as official development assistance by the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) Development Assistance Committee (DAC) and the majority comes from the aid budget.

Aid is allocated for specific purposes, including equality and governance. Individual aid allocations have not been tied to specific conditions on religious tolerance, equality under the law and openness and transparency of government. Such issues are taken into account in considering the case for aid, alongside other criteria.

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