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Written Answers to Questions

Tuesday 18 July 2006

International Development


Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what his suggested alternatives are for income generation for poppy growers in (a) Helmand province and (b) other Afghan provinces. [85758]

Hilary Benn: After decades of conflict, the lack of investment in basic infrastructure, poor governance and drought, much of Afghanistan's productivity has been lost or re-directed towards poppy cultivation and drug trafficking. As 70 per cent. of the population are rural, agriculture provides the best opportunity for alternative income generation.

Helmand province was once one of the most agriculturally advanced and productive areas in Afghanistan. It might have the potential to be so again. For examples, the DFID-funded research into alternative livelihoods programme (RALF) is looking at the export potential of grapes, tomatoes, mushrooms egg plants and okra in Helmand and has made contacts with raisin importers, which involves organic and fair trade. The programme is also evaluating at least 10 different small scale agri-processing industries such as tomato paste production.

Growth in small and medium enterprises and construction has the potential to bring new employment opportunities in all 34 provinces of Afghanistan. DFID supports the micro finance investment support facility programme, which provides much needed credit for investment in agriculture, manufacturing, retail and service industries. To date, the programme has brought financial services for some 161,000 people in and around half of the provinces of Afghanistan.

The development of Afghanistan's natural resources could also provide alternative jobs. Afghanistan possesses energy and mineral resources, many of which are underdeveloped, such as coal, gas, oil, precious metals and semi-precious stones. DFID is funding the British Geological Survey to strengthen the Afghan Geological Survey to develop and promote the mining sector.


Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what support is (a) provided and (b) planned for (i) land mine clearance and (ii) transport infrastructure developments in Angola. [85537]

Hilary Benn: DFID has provided over £1.1 million for land mine clearance work in Angola since 2003. A
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further £400,000 will be spent this year to support land mine clearance activities in the country.

DFID is currently funding the work of two mine action NGOs operating in Angola—the Halo Trust and the Mine Awareness Group. Most of this work is taking place in areas where humanitarian operations are ongoing in order to allow UN Agencies such as the World Food Programme to access populations in need, and to do so safely.

DFID's aid programme in Angola is focused on providing support to meet urgent humanitarian needs. Funding for transport infrastructure has been made in the context of support provided for humanitarian programming. DFID provided £1.15 million to the WFP last year to support the construction of bridges to enable quicker humanitarian access to populations in need. This support has also reduced costs because aid can now travel by road instead of only by air transport.

Support for infrastructure development in southern Africa has been identified as a priority area in DFID's southern Africa regional plan. Angola will benefit from this work, which is currently at the design stage.


John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if he will place in the Library a copy of the joint UN-African Union technical assessment mission report on Darfur. [85341]

Hilary Benn: The United Nations-African Union technical assessment mission recently returned from Darfur. Their report has yet to be released, though it is expected before the end of July. We expect that it will make recommendations on how the UN can support the African Union, and ultimately take over in Darfur. We do not know yet what form the report will take. It may be an oral briefing, a letter from Kofi Annan or a formal written report. Assuming any written report is made public, I will arrange for copies to be placed in the Libraries of the House.


Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what funding the Government are providing for water and sanitation projects in Malawi. [85916]

Hilary Benn: DFID is co-financing a Concern Universal project with the European Union Water Facility. The project is in two districts of Malawi and will deliver 550 boreholes, household sanitation, and training, and help build capacity in the districts. DFID is contributing £620,000 over five years, which is 25 per cent. of the overall funding.

DFID has agreed to co-finance a project in 13 districts of Malawi if the NGO consortium involved can secure European Union Water Facility funding. The consortium of six NGOs is led by Concern Universal and also includes Oxfam, Emmanuel International and World Vision. This project will work with local government and is expected to deliver over 3,000 functioning boreholes and safe sanitation for
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250,000 people. DFID has agreed to contribute £860,000 over five years which is 25 per cent. of the overall funding.

DFID is funding WaterAid to complete a nationwide digital map showing who has and does not have access to a safe water supply. This tool will help the Government and others to concentrate their efforts on supplying water to those who have no access at present. DFID is spending £65,000 on this work.

As part of support to primary education, DFID has been funding improvements to primary school water supply and sanitation for the past nine years. In 2005, DFID spent approximately £1,000,000 on primary school water supply and sanitation in Malawi. Apart from their health benefits, the availability of latrines and their sensitive siting is one of a number of factors that can help keep girls at school.


Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what aid programmes are supported by his Department in Somalia; and by which local administrations aid is delivered. [85004]

Hilary Benn: DFID has a rising aid programme in Somalia. Subject to political and other developments within Somalia, this year we plan to disburse approximately £15.5 million, of which around 40 per cent. is likely to be spent in Somaliland. This is planned to rise further next year, again with a substantial portion benefiting Somaliland—either as support for specific Somaliland activities or as part of a Somalia-wide programme.

Our programmes in Somalia are focused around three objectives agreed:

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We do not provide bilateral aid directly to any Somali authority; however, projects under the objectives above, undertaken by the UN and NGOs, involve collaboration with local and regional authorities and the Transitional Federal Government in their delivery.


Foreign Travel

Philip Davies: To ask the Solicitor-General how much was spent on foreign travel by the Law Officers’ Departments in each of the last eight years. [76066]

The Solicitor-General: The Law Officers’ Departments have spent the following amounts on foreign travel in the last eight years. Figures are rounded to the nearest thousand, or hundred if under 1,000. All foreign travel by Ministers and officials is undertaken in accordance with the Ministerial Code and the Civil Service Management Code.

Crown Prosecution Service Revenue and Customs Prosecutions Office Serious Fraud Office Treasury Solicitor's Department Attorney General's Office HM Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate


















































(1 )RCPO was established on 18 April 2005.
(2 )Provisional figures pending finalisation of 2005-06 accounts.

Law Officers Departmental Report

Mr. Amess: To ask the Solicitor-General how many copies of the Law Officers departmental report 2006, were produced; at what cost; to whom copies were sent; at what cost; who was consulted prior to publication; how members of the public can obtain copies; at what cost; and if he will make a statement. [78601]

The Solicitor-General: The Stationery Office produced 780 copies of Cm 6821, “Law Officers' Departments Report 2006”. Of the 780 copies, the Law Officers' Departments received 320 copies at a cost of £4,248. The 320 were allocated as follows:

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Number of copies allocated

Attorney-General's Office


Crown Prosecution Service (CPS)


HM Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate


Revenue and Customs Prosecutions Office


Serious Fraud Office


Treasury Solicitor's Office


Copies of the report are circulated within departments, including the 42 CPS geographical areas, and to criminal justice system partners. No central records are kept of individual recipients or cost of distribution.

The report is prepared within all the Law Officers Departments. Treasury and other CJS Departments are consulted during preparation.

A hard copy of the report can be obtained through the Stationery Office priced £14.75. It is also available on the Law Officers departments websites.



Paul Holmes: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate his Department has made of the level of traffic flow on the A303 during the 2012 Olympics. [86099]

Gillian Merron: The Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) will be responsible for identifying the roads to be included in the Olympic route network and considering their impact on traffic flows, as well as on the roads adjoining them. The ODA will also consider the general traffic flow caused by Olympic spectators.

Paul Holmes: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate his Department has made of the economic effects on the south-west region of the implementation of the published scheme for improvements to the A303 at Stonehenge in the first year after construction. [86100]

Dr. Ladyman: Our estimate of the economic benefits of this scheme does not distinguish between the economic benefits to the south-west and to other regions.

Air Traffic Control

Mr. Brazier: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what reports he has received on the possible effects of wind turbines and wind farms on air traffic control radars; and what recent discussions he has had with representatives of the Civil Aviation Authority on the matter. [86264]

Gillian Merron: On 3 July 2006, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) issued a Civil Aviation Publication (CAP 764) entitled “Policy and Guidelines on Wind Turbines”. This guidance provides assistance to aviation stakeholders when addressing wind energy related issues and includes a description of the various areas of aviation, including radar, which have the
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potential to be affected by wind turbine developments. The guidance is available on the CAA website at www.caa.co.uk/cap764

We have regular meetings with various stakeholders, including representatives from the CAA, to discuss a range of issues.

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