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11 Dec 2007 : Column 410W—continued

Health Insurance

Norman Lamb: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many officials in (a) his Department and (b) each of its agencies have private health insurance provided as part of their employment package. [167933]

Jonathan Shaw: Neither DEFRA nor its executive agencies provide private health insurance to any members of staff as part of their employment package.

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Livestock: Disease Control

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the timetable is for the Department’s plans to introduce cost-sharing with farmers for the control of animal diseases. [170648]

Jonathan Shaw: We aim to consult before the end of the year on principles and possible options for implementing responsibility and cost-sharing measures for the control of animal diseases.

Opinion Leader Research

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many contracts were awarded by his Department to Opinion Leader Research in each year since 1997; and what was (a) the title and purpose, (b) the cost to the public purse and (c) the dates of (i) tender, (ii) award, (iii) operation and (iv) completion and report to the Department in each case. [165269]

Jonathan Shaw: DEFRA came into being in June 2001. From information held centrally the core-department’s expenditure with Opinion Leader Research in the financial years 2003-04 to 2007-08 (to date) is as follows:

Financial year Expenditure









2007-08 (to date)


The department does not hold centrally the title and purpose of each project, and the dates on which the project was put to tender, carried out, completed and its findings put to the department. This information could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Poultry Meat: Labelling

Mr. Swire: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps he has considered taking to introduce clearer labels and guidance on poultry meat for consumers; and if he will make a statement. [171072]

Jonathan Shaw [holding answer 5 December 2007]: Labelling and guidance for consumers on poultry meat extends to various product attributes and advice on cooking and handling and the Food Standards Agency is the lead Government Department on general food labelling and guidance. Labelling on poultry meat, in common with all foods, is also subject to the legislative requirements on food labelling. Specific provisions governing marketing standards and labelling of (uncooked) poultry meat are laid down in EU regulations, notably Council Regulation No. 1906/90 and Commission Regulation No. 1538/91 (both as amended). As the EU Commission are in the process of reviewing the latter, decisions on labelling in these areas are likely to await the outcome of this.

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Radioactive Materials: Waste Management

Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what his policy is on the extent to which proposers of any new nuclear stations should be responsible for the costs of nuclear waste management, with reference to his reply on a blog on energy and environmental policy hosted by the No. 10 Downing Street website on 19 November, that it would be for the proposers of any nuclear power stations to cover the cost of nuclear waste primarily. [167910]

Malcolm Wicks [holding answer 6 December 2007]: I have been asked to reply.

The Government set out in our recent public consultation “The Future of Nuclear Power” our preliminary view that it is in the public interest to give private sector energy companies the option of investing in new nuclear power stations. In the event that we confirm our preliminary view, the consultation sets out in detail, a process to design financing arrangements that will ensure nuclear power station operators accumulate sufficient funds to meet their costs of waste disposal and decommissioning and that these funds are secure, even in extreme situations, such as insolvency. This mechanism would be set out in legislation.

Sugar Beet

Mark Pritchard: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will seek to ensure that British Sugar's application to surrender quota back to the EU is not agreed unless British Sugar agrees terms for compensation to Shropshire (a) sugar beet growers and (b) contractors whose businesses are affected. [171166]

Jonathan Shaw: British Sugar's application, including these elements, is under active consideration and we shall announce in due course the envisaged distribution of aid in the event that the application is approved.

Young People

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many staff aged between 16 and 18 were employed by his Department and its predecessors (a) directly and (b) through an employment agency in each of the last 10 years; what proportion of these were given time off work to undertake some form of training; and what proportion were provided with some form of training (i) wholly and (ii) partially funded by his Department. [171274]

Jonathan Shaw: Information on the age of new entrants to the Department is available only from 2004 and is shown in the following table.

Number of 16 to 18-year-olds recruited







2007 (to 30 November)


The other information requested could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

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International Development

Afghanistan: Airports

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment he has made of the significance of civilian use of Kandahar International Airport to the economic development of Regional Command South in Afghanistan. [170820]

Mr. Douglas Alexander: DFID has made no assessment of the significance of civilian use of Kandahar International airport to the economic development of Regional Command South. However, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is planning to commission an assessment of civil use of the airport in January 2008, as part of a wider economic assessment of the region. We shall seek a copy of their assessment in due course.

Africa: Health Services

Chris McCafferty: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment he has made of the Maputo Plan of Action; and how he intends to support the African Union and African national governments' implementation of the Maputo Plan of Action. [173218]

Mr. Thomas: DFID fully supports the aims of the African Union Maputo Plan of Action on Maternal health which is consistent with the DFID strategy 'Reducing maternal deaths: evidence and action'.

At regional level, DFID works closely with the African Union Commission and others responsible for the Maputo Plan.

DFID recently pledged an additional £100 million over five years to the UNFPA global programme for reproductive health commodity security (GPRHCS). The aim is to increase sexual and reproductive health supplies in developing countries and to develop capacity to resolve problems of sexual reproductive health commodity insecurity.

We will continue to work closely with governments. For example, in Sierra Leone we are providing £50 million over the next 10 years to rebuild the health system to deliver basic services in sexual, reproductive and child health. In Kenya DFID is supporting a £7.5 million essential health services project over five years, working alongside the government and with the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), the World Health Organisation (WHO), the United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA) and the European Commission (EC). This will include strengthening reproductive maternal health services (in Nyanza province) and the provision of socially marketed contraceptives.

AIDS: Children

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if he will make a statement on the progress of his strategy for supporting children with AIDS. [172499]

Mr. Thomas: Tackling the needs and rights of children affected by AIDS remains at the heart of the
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DFID response. DFID is committed to spending at least £150 million to meet the needs of children affected by AIDS over three years to 2008.

DFID is working with UNICEF to support national orphans and vulnerable children plans in 13 African countries, to help ensure such plans are fully in line with broader national HIV/AIDS plans, and other social sector plans, especially education, health and social welfare.

Strengthening health services is the most sustainable way to improve child health and to address the health aspects of HIV and AIDS. The International Health Partnership, launched by the Prime Minister in September 2007, will help ensure that donor resources are better co-ordinated, that they back strong national health development plans and that they focus on strengthening the health systems that deliver better services.

We are also supporting social protection interventions in seven African countries. These programmes are providing predictable and regular cash transfers to households looking after vulnerable children which have been shown to be a simple and cost-effective way to ensure children get the nutrition, education and health care they need.


Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much his Department and its agencies have spent on Christmas (a) cards, (b) parties and (c) decorations in each of the last five years. [171442]

Mr. Douglas Alexander: The Department for International Development (DFID) has produced its own Christmas cards since 2004 for partners and stakeholders. Prior to this DFID purchased cards from UNICEF.

The information requested is in the following table:












(1) 6,000 cards purchased from UNICEF. (2) 7,000 cards. (3) Expected costs (7,000 cards).

DFID does not pay for Christmas parties or decorations.

Ethiopia: Foreign Exchange

Mr. Scott: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what currency transactions over the value of £25,000 have been made by his Department involving changing pounds sterling into local currency in Ethiopia in the last six months. [171960]

Mr. Thomas: In the last six months DFID Ethiopia has made the following transfers from sterling into Ethiopian birr:

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27 July 2007


8 October 2007


Indonesia: Overseas Aid

Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what development projects his Department has sponsored in the Papua region of Indonesia; and what their budgets are for (a) 2007-08 and (b) 2008-09. [172056]

Mr. Thomas: DFID has funded the following programmes in Papua province during the period in question:

(i) through the decentralisation support facility, assistance is being provided to the provincial government of Papua to strengthen its capacity in areas such as public financial management, infrastructure and community-driven development. It is difficult to identify precise budgets for these activities as they form part of a broader programme for Eastern Indonesia, but approximate figures are £150,000 for calendar year 2007, and £300,000 for 2008.

(ii) the UK-Indonesia multi-stakeholder forestry programme (MFP) has operated in Papua, among other regions. Activities under this programme include support for forest policy reform, indigenous and other local community land rights, economic livelihoods, and tackling deforestation and illegal logging. Further information on this innovative programme can be found in the book ‘Aid That Works’, published in 2006 and available from DFID. Funding under MFP for Papua in 2007-08 is likely to amount to approximately £120,000. Funding levels for 2008-09 have not yet been set.

(iii) through the Indonesia Partnership Fund for HIV/AIDS (IPF), DFID is supporting the strengthening of the two Provincial AIDS Commissions for Papua and West Papua, as well as district AIDS Commissions, primarily through the National AIDS Commission Secretariat. In addition, Family Health International and the Indonesian HIV Prevention and Care Project both have HIV programmes in Papua and West Papua which receive support from DFID through the IPF. This work focuses on health system strengthening, providing care, support and treatment to people living with HIV, and prevention of sexual transmission of HIV in the two provinces. It is not possible to disaggregate the financial disbursement data sufficiently to indicate expenditure by province without incurring disproportionate costs.

Iraq: Electricity

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what projects his Department has implemented to improve the availability of electricity to local people in (a) Basra, (b) Maysan, (c) Dhi Qar and (d) Al Muthanna provinces; and how much was spent on such projects in each year since 2003. [170815]

Mr. Douglas Alexander: Since 2003, DFID has allocated over £100 million for infrastructure regeneration projects. This has helped create employment for several thousand
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Iraqis in repairing some of southern Iraq's key infrastructure. We have already added or secured 415 MW of electricity to the Iraqi national grid, and will be adding or securing a further 60 MW over the next few months—this is the equivalent to providing 24 hour electricity for around one million people. This has been achieved by repairing damaged electricity transmission and distribution networks, including transmission lines from Al-Hartha power station to Basra city (securing electricity supplies for 1.5 million residents), and the Al-Hartha power station chimney (securing electricity supplies for 340,000 people).

Since 2003, we have spent the following amounts to improve electricity in southern Iraq (we do not have this information broken down by individual governorates).

£ million
Support to electricity sector









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