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Democratic Republic of the Congo

11. Mary Creagh: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps he is taking to support the forthcoming democratic elections in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. [77030]

Hilary Benn: The UK is the largest bilateral donor to the electoral process in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), providing more than £23 million over 2 years. This is funding electoral operations through the Independent Electoral Commission, conflict prevention and mediation initiatives, international and national observation projects to ensure the equal participation of men and women, and training and equipping the police to provide security during the elections. The UK has also provided important and sustained political pressure to ensure that the transition remains on track and will continue to do so. I hope to visit the DRC after the electoral process is complete in the autumn.


12. Sir Nicholas Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent assessment he has made of the humanitarian impact of land clearances in Zimbabwe. [77031]

Hilary Benn: DFID liaises closely with UN agencies and NGOs that closely monitor ongoing vulnerability among the 700,000 people whose homes or livelihoods were destroyed by the Government of Zimbabwe during last year's Operation Murambatsvina (Drive out Rubbish). The UN is also investigating new episodes of evictions.

Last year, DFID committed £1.8 million to the humanitarian response, which reached some 200,000 people with food, blankets and other essentials. For many the situation remains difficult, especially regarding shelter. We recently contributed a further £1.1 million to provide practical assistance to vulnerable urban families. We continue to raise concerns through the UN.

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Millennium Development Goals

13. Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment he has made of progress in meeting the millennium development goals for beneficial health outcomes. [77032]

Mr. Thomas: Improvements in health require progress against all MDGs. Progress is mixed; many countries have made significant gains but massive challenges persist in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. On current trends, many poor countries will not meet the goals. Without underestimating the challenges, the means to ensure that every country achieves the goals are available. The task is to live up to the commitments made by G8 leaders in 2005 to support countries efforts to ensure access to essential health services. DFID is currently revising its health strategy to meet this challenge.

Indonesian Earthquake

14. Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development pursuant to his written statement of 5 June 2006, Official Report, column 11WS, on the Indonesian earthquake, what further humanitarian assistance his Department plans to provide. [77033]

Hilary Benn: Immediate relief needs during the emergency phase are largely being met, and we have no plans to commit further humanitarian assistance in addition to the £5 million already announced. The Government of Indonesia are now planning for longer term reconstruction. The UK is ready to support longer term reconstruction, and we will decide on the appropriate level of funding on the basis of an assessment of needs.

Bilateral Aid (Water and Sanitation)

Ms Dari Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development on what basis the figures for the proportion of UK bilateral aid spent on water and sanitation are calculated. [76707]

Hilary Benn: DFID commissions an independent report on its expenditure on water and sanitation, including bilateral expenditure and all spend through other agencies. This report, ‘Financial Support to the Water Sector’, is produced by Atkins Consultants and is publicly available on the DFID website at Copies have also been placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

The report provides detailed estimates of how much DFID spends on water and sanitation. It includes spending on programmes and projects for which water and sanitation improvement is the main objective. It also includes estimated proportions of spend for other programmes in education, health etc., where water and sanitation form part of the overall programme. It includes all themes covered by water and sanitation: water resource management, assessment and protection; urban and rural water supply and sanitation; humanitarian assistance; and water for food. It presents a breakdown of expenditure
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by region, country, theme and bilateral aid type. Sensitivity analysis of the necessary assumptions is also presented. An update of the report, with details of expenditure for 2004-05 and 2005-06 will be published in autumn 2006.


Mr. Carmichael: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if he will make a statement on the humanitarian situation in Burma. [77025]

Mr. Thomas: The humanitarian situation in Burma is very poor. Reliable data are scarce, but many of Burma’s 50 million people live in serious poverty—a situation exacerbated by the Government’s actions. There are reportedly half a million people internally displaced in Eastern Burma, with around 100,000 in hiding in conflict areas, and more than half a million refugees in neighbouring nations. Communicable disease is an acute problem. Over 70 per cent. of the population live in malaria risk areas and Burma has one of the most serious HIV epidemics in Asia.

Departmental Staff

David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many non-pensionable bonuses were awarded to members of his staff in each of the last three years; and at what total cost. [73005]

Mr. Thomas: The following table gives the number of non-pensionable bonuses awarded to DFID staff over the last three years with total costs for each year.

Number of awards Total cost (£) Percentage of DFID’s total paybill














Arms Trade Treaty

Mr. Wills: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what steps he plans to take to increase his Department's efforts, resources and capacity to deliver an Arms Trade Treaty. [74443]

Mr. Ingram: As part of a cross-Whitehall team the Ministry of Defence is fully committed to working together towards an international arms trade treaty.

We continue to play an active role and have committed Defence resource to support the delivery of this treaty.

Army Bases/Personnel (Northern Ireland)

Mr. Peter Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many Army personnel were stationed in Northern Ireland in each of the last five years; and if he will list the operational Army bases in Northern Ireland. [77132]

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Mr. Ingram: I refer the hon. member to the answer I gave to him on 18 July 2005, Official Report, columns 1320W-1322W. The number of armed forces personnel (Army, Navy and Air Force) stationed in Northern Ireland since then is set out in the following table:

Number of armed forces personnel

31 October 2005


31 May 2006


In addition, other troops can be made available to the General Officer Commanding Northern Ireland from Land Command if required, for example during the marching season.

A list of military sites (military bases and installations, joint PSNI/military bases, towers and observation posts) as at 31 January 2006 was given in the ninth report of the Independent Monitoring Commission. This was laid before Parliament by the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, in a written ministerial statement, on 9 March 2006, Official Report, column 79WS.

Since 31 January 2006, three observation towers (R21, R13A and G40) have been closed. Work has been completed on R21 and R13A, and the land has been handed back to Defence Estates for disposal. Work is still ongoing on the G40 site.

Army Land Rovers

Mr. Ellwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many working armoured land rovers the army has in (a) total, (b) Iraq and (c) Afghanistan. [75847]

Mr. Ingram: For UK holdings, I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave him on 25 May 2006, Official Report, column 1992W. In respect of Iraq and Afghanistan I am withholding details of the military capability deployed on operations since its disclosure would reveal the strength and capability of UK forces operating in theatre, and could have a bearing on operational security.


David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many non-pensionable bonuses were awarded to members of his staff in each of the last three years; and what the total cost was. [73094]

Mr. Watson: The number and value of annual appraisal related bonuses paid to members of the senior civil service (SCS), to fixed term appointees and to civil servants below the level of the SCS, over the past three years, are listed in the following tables one to three. In addition, the Ministry of Defence awards special bonuses to individuals and teams for exceptional performance in a specific task or for the achievement of professional qualifications which benefit MOD and the individual; these are shown in table four. The final table (five) shows the total value of all bonuses paid: in cash terms and as a percentage of the total civilian pay bill.

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Table 1: Bonuses paid to senior civil servants
2005-06 2004-05 2003-04

Number of bonuses paid




Value of bonuses paid (£)




Table 2: Bonuses paid to fixed term appointees
2005-06 2004-05 2003-04

Number of bonuses paid




Value of bonuses paid (£)




Table 3: End of year bonuses paid to staff below the level of the SCS [excluding MOD Trading Fund Agencies]
2005-06 2004-05 2003-04

Number of bonuses paid




Value of bonuses paid (£)




Table 4: Special bonuses [excluding MOD Trading Fund Agencies]
2005-06 2004-05 2003-04

Number of staff who received bonus(es)




Value of bonuses paid (£)




Table 5: Summary of bonuses paid
2005-06 2004-05 2003-04

Value of all bonuses paid (£)




Percentage of total civilian pay bill

Accounts not yet published



Casualty Statistics

Mr. MacNeil: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether servicemen and women who lost a leg in action would be counted by his Department as wounded if treated by US doctors. [73740]

Mr. Watson [holding answer 25 May 2006]: The Ministry of Defence publishes casualty information compiled from a number of sources. One of these sources is the UK's main (Role 3) Field hospital in Shaibah in Iraq. The current figure (around 240 personnel) cited for troops wounded as a result of hostile action on Operation Telic is based on the records of those treated at the Shaibah Field hospital. This figure does not therefore include UK forces treated only at US facilities.

To present a more complete picture and to capture UK military and civilian personnel injured in Iraq and not included in the Shaibah figure for those wounded as a result of hostile action, we have published figures on Telic casualties drawn from other sources. These are the Notification of Casualty (NOTICAS) reporting and Aeromed figures.

The Aeromed figure includes all UK military and civilian personnel medically evacuated from Iraq whatever the cause and from any location in Iraq, including Baghdad, to any destination outside that country. This reporting includes all UK service personnel who have lost a leg and have been treated at US medical facilities in Iraq.

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The Notification of Casualty reporting is comprehensive from January 2005 onwards, when the Joint Compassionate Casualty Centre (JCCC) was set up, and includes all UK personnel treated at US facilities for serious injuries. But during the early phases of Operation Telic the tempo of operations meant that the paperwork associated with the NOTICAS process was not always completed properly. As a result we cannot be certain that all our NOTICAS records covering this early period are complete.

We are working to cross check historic information to improve our Telic casualty reporting, including records for RFA Argus and 202 Field hospital. Once this information has been verified, I will place a copy in the House of Commons Library.

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