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22 Mar 2007 : Column 1091Wcontinued
Mr. Kilfoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what discussions he has had on developments at the Inter-American Development Bank and its fund for development. 
Mr. Thomas: I met President Moreno of the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) twice in the last year, in April 2006 at the IADB annual meetings held in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, and in June 2006 in London. We discussed a range of issues including the use of the fund for special operations (FSO), debt relief for the regional heavily indebted poorer countries (HIPC), the President's Building Opportunities for the Majority initiative, and proposed work on climate change. On each occasion I confirmed our support for the President's reorganisation of the Bank, which DFID has been supporting, his work to help borrowing member countries in the Latin American and Caribbean region tackle poverty, inequality and respond to climate change, and work to improve the Bank's performance in making lending available to small enterprises. To date, DFID has approved £18.3 million to support the IADB's work in these areas.
I have also expressed to the President my concern over the details of the current IADBs debt relief initiative to cancel all the outstanding loans of the five HIPC countries in the region. We are concerned that it will constrain the Bank's ability to provide substantial and concessional financing to the poorer HIPC countries to finance the millennium development goals (MDGs). The UK has strongly supported the IADB providing additional debt relief to these HIPCs, but we are concerned about the way the deal is structured and the lack of additional financing for MDGs.
Mr. Love: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what the priorities of his Department are towards Lebanon. 
DFID does not have a bilateral programme in Lebanon. However, the UK responded to the humanitarian crisis last year by contributing £22.3 million at the international donors conference in Stockholm in August 2006. This money was allocated
to humanitarian relief (logistics, food, water, sanitation) delivered through aid agencies (e.g. Red Cross, United Nations (UN)); munitions clearance; bridging (providing and transporting temporary bridges to Lebanon) and funding that is channelled through multilateral funds, e.g. the UNs Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) and the European Commission (EC).
Over the next four years we will be continuing a further £60 million (approximately) to Lebanon through contributions to the international system. Therefore, a key priority for DFID is to ensure the effective use of funding delivered through multilateral channels.
A difficult problem that we have been addressing in Lebanon is danger to civilians from unexploded bombs. On top of the £1.5 million we had already committed to clearance of unexploded mines, we made available a further £1.2 million to the UN Mines Action Service (UNMAS) and the Mines Advisory Group (MAG) for further munitions clearance work in Lebanon. This means DFIDs total contribution to munitions clearance is now close to £2.8 million. We have also asked the Government of Israel to hand over all relevant maps locating unexploded ordnance.
Improving the plight of Palestinian refugees remains a priority for DFID. At the Paris III conference on reconstruction in Lebanon in January 2007, we committed a further £24.4 million to United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) for 2011-12, on top of the £76 million that will be provided to UNRWA over the next four years. Although funds are not ear- marked, UNRWA estimates approximately 20 per cent. of these funds will support Palestinians in Lebanon.
The ripple-effect of conflict and instability in Lebanon holds significant risks for our bilateral programmes in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and Iraq. We therefore have an interest in addressing the causes of conflict in Lebanon and seeing a stable and prosperous state. In partnership with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and the Ministry of Defence (MOD) we work through HMGs Global Conflict and Prevention Pool (GCPP) to support the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1701 and to contribute to peacebuilding.
With the UK embassy in Beirut we are also monitoring initiatives to promote democratic oversight of reconstruction spending and planning. This has the potential to address some of the issues underlying the internal conflict in Lebanon.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment he has made of the measures necessary to ensure the safety of aid workers operating in Darfur. 
Humanitarian agencies in Darfur are struggling to deliver in an increasingly difficult environment. Part of this is due to the general
insecurity and targeted attacks on humanitarian vehicles, staff and assets and it is partly due to the bureaucratic impediments that undermine the ability of agencies to operate effectively.
With the UN and other international actors, we are urging all sides, including both the rebels and the Government of Sudan, to respect the neutrality of humanitarian agencies and cease all harassment and attacks on their staff. We are also lobbying hard for the Government to ease restrictions on humanitarian agencies particularly on accessing those in need, recruitment, importing supplies, visas and permits for staff.
Through the Common Humanitarian Fund (UK contribution £40 million in 2007) we are also strengthening the ability of the UN to monitor, report and respond to security incidents involving humanitarian workers.
Mr. Fabian Hamilton: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what matters the Government plan to raise at the UN Commission for Sustainable Development in New York in April. 
Ian Pearson: I have been asked to reply.
The 15th Session of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) takes place in New York from the 30 April to 11 May 2007. The topics under discussion were agreed in the 2003 multi-year programme of work, which operates in two-yearly cycles, with one review year and one policy year. We are currently in the second, policy year, of discussions on the cluster of climate change, industrial development, energy for sustainable development, and air pollution and atmosphere.
The UK will be working, through the EU, to secure action-oriented outcomes in each of the thematic sectors. In particular, the EU is looking to foster a transition to a global low-carbon economy, with diversified energy policies included in national sustainable development strategies and plans by 2010, and with priority to energy efficiency, renewable energies and improved access to sustainable and affordable energy services for all. The EU has also called for a basket of voluntary commitments on access to energy, energy efficiency and renewables, and a review mechanism to assess progress.
We are also working to ensure an integrated approach through including these issues in national sustainable development strategies, poverty reduction strategies and national development plans. We believe that full consideration of the interlinkages and cross-cutting issues is fundamental to good policy-making.
In addition, we want to ensure that the work of the CSD is complementary to and supports, rather than cuts across, the discussions and negotiations under the
United Nations Forum Convention on Climate Change and its associated Kyoto protocol.
Mr. Fabian Hamilton: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development whether he plans to attend the 15(th) UN Commission on Sustainable Development in New York in April. 
Mr. Thomas: The 15(th) Session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development will take place in New York from 30 April to 11 May 2007. The four main themes this year are Energy for Sustainable Development, Air Pollution/Atmosphere, Industrial Development and Climate Change. We are currently considering ministerial attendance with DEFRA.
Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many babies were transferred to hospitals outside Northern Ireland in each of the last six years because of the lack of suitable intensive care facilities in Northern Ireland. 
Paul Goggins: Information on the number of babies transferred to hospitals outside Northern Ireland in 2001 is not available within the timeframe provided. Information on the number of babies transferred to hospitals outside Northern Ireland for the years 2002 to 2006 inclusive are provided in the following table:
|Number of babies that have been transferred outside Northern Ireland in each of the last five years for services that are not provided in Northern Ireland|
Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many convictions for the ownership of a dangerous dog there were in Northern Ireland in each of the last six years; and what the (a) penalty imposed and (b) breed of dog was in each case. 
David Cairns: Local councils provide statistical information to the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) with respect to enforcement of the Dogs (Northern Ireland) Order 1983 (as amended), including the number of prosecutions taken for offences under the legislation. However, prior to 2006 these returns did not specifically distinguish prosecutions for ownership of banned dogs from other prosecutions taken under the legislation.
Since January 2006, figures provided to DARD by local councils show that there have been five successful prosecutions, details of which are set out in the following table. There are also a further 11 prosecutions pending, all of which are with respect to possession of pit bull type dogs. To date, DARD has received statistical information for the final quarter of 2006 from 25 of the 26 local councils.
|Successful prosecutions for possession of prohibited dog types during 2006( 1 ) (from information provided to DARD by local councils)|
|Type of dog||Order||Penalty (£)|
100 fine plus 181 costs plus costs for the destruction of the dog
|(1) To date DARD has received statistical information for the final quarter of 2006 from 25 of the 26 local councils.|
Sammy Wilson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many people participated in English for Speakers of Other Languages courses in Northern Ireland in each of the last five years. 
Maria Eagle: The following table details the number of people participating in English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) courses in the Northern Ireland further education colleges in each of the last five academic years for which data are available.
|Academic year||ESOL students|
Further Education Statistical Record
Sammy Wilson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how much the (a) Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland Office inquiries, (b) Bloody Sunday inquiry, (c) hosting the St. Andrew's talks, (d) Rosemary Nelson inquiry and (e) the Finucane inquiry cost to date. 
Mr. Hain: The costs to the end of January 2007 are set out in the following table. The Patrick Finucane inquiry has not yet been established.
|Costs (£ million)|
|(1) The Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland does not conduct inquiries, her role being one of investigating complaints made against the police. In fulfilling this function, expenditure for the Police Ombudsman over the period 6 November 2000 to 31 March 2007 is detailed in the table. The figure for expenditure for the current financial year is an estimate based on the budget allocated to the Ombudsman for 2006-07.|
(2) This represents a total figure. Costs of hosting the talks are to be jointly shared with the Irish Government.
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