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7 Feb 2008 : Column 1380W—continued

Rwanda: Economic Situation

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps the Government has taken to assist the Rwandan government in achieving economic development. [183104]

Gillian Merron: Over the last 10 years the UK has provided £380 million of development assistance to fund the recovery of Rwanda from the legacy of the 1994 genocide. With the help of this support Rwanda has experienced strong economic growth with an annual average of around 7 per cent. Poverty rates have also fallen from 74 per cent. in 1994 to 57 per cent. in 2007. This year, DFID expects to provide £46 million,
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of which £33 million will be direct budget support to the government, much of this to be directed towards supporting and accelerating economic growth.

In addition, DFID is contributing £3 million to the implementation of the Agricultural Transformation Strategic Plan of the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources. This is designed to stimulate the economic prosperity of the rural population and improve their living conditions within a modernised agricultural sector.

DFID is also directly supporting the Government of Rwanda (GoR) to implement large scale land reforms to encourage the best use of land and protect people’s ownership rights. This is a fundamental part of economic development and helps to provide a more stable economic environment which encourages individual investment.

Finally, at the request of the GoR, DFID together with the World Bank and the Africa Development Bank, has initiated detailed growth analysis work. This will focus on sustaining and increasing economic growth rates by identifying constraints to growth and developing prioritised actions to address these.

Sexual Harassment

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many complaints of (a) sexual harassment and (b) sexual discrimination have been made by staff in (i) his Department and (ii) its agencies in the most recent year for which figures are available. [184683]

Gillian Merron: DFID has had one complaint of sexual harassment reported and no complaints of sexual discrimination reported in the last 12 months. DFID’s only agency, the Commonwealth Scholarships Commission, does not employ any staff.

Sudan: Peacekeeping Operations

Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment he has made of (a) the co-ordination of agencies engaged in protection activities in Darfur and (b) the effectiveness of such agencies in providing protection for civilians. [184256]

Meg Munn: I have been asked to reply.

We have not yet assessed the effectiveness of the co-ordination of civilian protection in Darfur following the assumption of peacekeeping authority by the African Union-UN hybrid mission (UNAMID) on 31 December, as many of the relevant structures and personnel are not yet in place. UNAMID is mandated by UN Security Council Resolution 1769 to protect civilians, which it will carry out in co-ordination with other UN agencies and non-governmental humanitarian organisations.

Prior to 31 December 2007, UNMIS (the UN Mission in Sudan set up to support implementation of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement between North and South Sudan) contributed towards civilian protection in Darfur through information-gathering and sharing with the African Union peacekeeping mission in Sudan and humanitarian agencies. The
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Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and the International Organisation for Migration also delivered civilian protection in Darfur.

Former UNMIS staff now work for UNAMID, which will include a civilian element of approximately 5,000 staff when fully established. UNAMID has appointed Humanitarian Affairs Officers to co-ordinate with the UN agencies and non-governmental humanitarian organisations. We are monitoring this transition.

Yemen: Overseas Aid

Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much UK development funding was given to Yemen in 2007; on what dates funding was provided; what plans there are to fund development projects in Yemen in 2008; on what dates that funding will be provided; and what plans there are for the funding of development projects in Yemen in the 10 years after 2008. [185042]

Mr. Malik: In the calendar year 2007, DFID bilateral aid to Yemen was £12,383,756. The disbursement dates are as follows:


January - March


April - June


July - September


October - December


We are currently unable to provide figures for total UK development funding to Yemen in 2007, which includes UK contributions to multilateral institutions, as these figures have not yet been published.

In financial year 2008-09, DFID’s bilateral budget to Yemen will be £20 million. DFID is in the process of finalising the Department’s specific commitments to Yemen for the remainder of calendar year 2008. Based on expenditure so far in 2008 and current programme plans for the remainder of 2008, we expect overall spend for calendar year 2008 to be £21.2 million, broken down as follows:

£ million



Good Governance


Judicial reforms


Social Fund for Development


Health Care


Water and Sanitation


Emergency relief, Saada


In 2006, my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for International Development decided to progressively increase the Department’s assistance to Yemen from £12 million in 2007-08 to £50 million in 2010-11. During my visit to Yemen in August 2007, I signed a 10-year Development Partnership Arrangement with the Deputy Prime Minister of Yemen and Minister for Planning and International Co-operation. This confirmed the UK’s long-term commitment to support Yemen achieve its development priorities. This arrangement also set out our financing commitments to Yemen for the financial years 2007-08 to 2010-11.

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We wish to maximise the impact of DFID’s additional resources for Yemen. We are therefore focusing our efforts in a small number of strategic areas. This includes expanding our support to existing programmes in education, justice and policing, public financial management and the social fund for development. We are also planning to expand into a small number of new areas we believe are critical to promoting Yemen’s prosperity and stability. For example, we approved in January 2008 an initial £500,000 of support to a programme to simplify business tax policy and processes. This will improve the prospects for growth of the private sector in Yemen and also increase tax revenues for the Government of Yemen to increase its fiscal stability. We are also exploring possible support to the water sector in Yemen to help the country address its looming water crisis.

Home Department

Animal Welfare: Protest

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if she will introduce a dedicated scheme to compensate victims of crimes committed by animal rights extremists. [181643]

Meg Hillier: The Government have no plans to introduce a scheme to compensate victims of crimes committed by animal rights extremists. We are committed to eradicating the threat of animal rights extremism which is backed up by a robust interdepartmental strategy centred on an improved law enforcement approach. That strategy has helped to deliver a sharp fall in animal rights extremist activity and an increase in the number of animal rights extremists brought to justice.

Antisocial Behaviour: Crime Prevention

James Brokenshire: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when she expects to publish a qualitative assessment of the effectiveness of antisocial behaviour interventions. [173828]

Mr. Coaker: The Home Office has commissioned research to examine regional variations in the use of antisocial behaviour interventions. This is the first step to developing further work into the comparative effectiveness of different approaches to tackling antisocial behaviour. The first stage of the research into regional variations will be completed by summer 2008. We anticipate that the second stage will be completed by late 2009.

Arrests: Anabolic Steroids

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people were (a) cautioned, arrested and convicted of supplying anabolic steroids in England and Wales in 2006. [185369]

Mr. Coaker: The Ministry of Justice confirm that one offender was cautioned for supplying anabolic steroids in England and Wales in 2006 and that there were no convictions for this offence in 2006. Information on arrests for such offences is not available centrally.

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Circumcision: Females

Mr. Swire: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what guidance she has issued to the police on charging those suspected of carrying out female circumcision. [184846]

Mr. Coaker: Guidance for the police on effectively responding to Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is contained within the Association of Chief Police Officers’ “Guidance on Investigating Child Abuse and Safeguarding Children”, issued in March 2005. Further guidance on dealing with suspected cases of FGM is available to the police, and to other agencies with responsibility for safeguarding children, in “Working Together to Safeguard Children”, the main multi-agency guidance on safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children, issued in 2006.

These pieces of guidance build upon a Home Office Circular on the Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003, issued to police forces in 2004, which aimed to raise awareness of the cultural context within which FGM is perpetrated, and also to advise the police that it is unacceptable to leave suspected cases of FGM un-investigated, as to do so could send out a message that this harmful practice is somehow acceptable. It is not, and it is right that perpetrators should be subject to criminal sanction.

Charging alleged offenders is the responsibility of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS). The CPS has incorporated FGM into its “Policy for Prosecuting Cases of Domestic Violence”, which is disseminated to all prosecutors and is accompanied by a modular training package which will be rolled out to all CPS areas by the end of 2008.

Crime: Drugs

Mr. Burrowes: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what quantities of class A drugs were seized by (a) the Concerted Inter-Agency Drug Action group in 2005-06 and (b) the Serious and Organised Crime Agency in 2006-07. [185388] [Official Report, 20 March 2008, Vol. 473, c. 10MC.]

Mr. Coaker: Information on the quantities of Class A drugs seized by the Concerted Inter-Agency Drug Action Group in 2005-06 is contained in HM Revenue and Customs 2005-06 Annual Report:

Details of drug interdictions flowing from the Serious Organised Crime Agency's work are provided in SOCA's 2006-07 Annual Report:

Crime: Internet

Margaret Moran: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent estimate she has made of levels of e-crime. [184223]

Mr. Coaker: The Government prosecute all crimes based on illegal actions and not the medium used. As such, all legislation criminalises offences regardless of whether they were committed on or off line and so there are no estimated levels of e-crime.

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However, APACS estimate that total losses for online banking fraud amounted to £33.5 million in 2006. With regard to card fraud there were £154.5 million in losses over the internet during 2006 up by 32 per cent. from 2005 when internet losses were £117.0 million. (These losses are where people have been defrauded on their cards during a transaction over the internet—rather than the online banking losses which are attributable to phishing or Trojans).

Genetics: Databases

Mr. Vara: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answer of 10 December 2007, Official Report, columns 83-84W, on genetics: databases, how many of the 22,700 people who voluntarily provided a DNA sample were later (a) arrested and (b) charged with an offence before the decision was made to retain their sample on the national database. [175632]

Meg Hillier: This information is not held centrally.

‘Volunteer’ samples may be requested from victims of crime, persons who may have had legitimate access to a crime scene, or from individuals in relation to an intelligence-led screen of a particular subgroup of the population from which an offender is thought to come, for elimination purposes in the investigation of a specific offence. The individual concerned must provide written consent for the sample to be taken. Volunteer subject sample profiles are only added to the national DNA database (NDNAD) where the individual has also given separate written consent for their profile to be loaded and retained on the NDNAD. In practice, only a relatively small proportion of volunteer subject sample profiles are added to the NDNAD.

Human Trafficking

Sir Peter Soulsby: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people have been (a) arrested and (b) convicted for offences relating to human trafficking in (i) Leicester and (ii) the East Midlands in the last four years. [184227]

Mr. Coaker: In the last four years there have been 27 arrests and five convictions in the East Midlands area for human trafficking offences. Of these 14 arrests and four convictions have been in Leicestershire.


Andrew Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) pursuant to the letter from the Minister for Immigration to the hon. Member for Thurrock dated 4 February 2008, why the presenting officer was not in a position to provide a copy of the Department’s letter of 27 August 1998 to the constituent of the hon. Member for Thurrock at the constituent’s appeal hearing on 16 October 2007; why there was no original copy on file; and if she will make a statement; [185517]

(2) whether the contents or substance of the letter from the Minister for Immigration of 4 February 2008 to the hon. Member for Thurrock were made available to the presiding judge at the hon. Member for Thurrock’s
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constituent’s appeal hearing on 31 January 2008; [185518]

(3) why the letter of response to the hon. Member for Thurrock from the Minister for Immigration dated 4 February 2008 was not dispatched as requested in question 180894 prior to the hon. Member for Thurrock’s constituent’s appeal hearing on 31 January 2008; and if she will make a statement. [185519]

Meg Hillier: I wrote to my hon. Friend on 7 February 2008.

Passports: Sexual Offences

Mr. Pope: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if she will consider revoking the passports in certain circumstances of convicted paedophiles on the Sex Offenders Register who wish to leave the country. [176895]

Mr. Coaker: The Home Secretary has the discretion to revoke a passport, but this is reserved for use in the most exceptional circumstances.

However, under sections 114-117 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003, a chief officer of police may apply for a Foreign Travel Order to prevent a person who has been convicted of or cautioned for a sexual offence specified in section 116 of the 2003 Act against a child under 16 from travelling either to a particular country or to any country, if the offender has acted since his conviction in such a way as to give reasonable cause to believe that it is necessary for such an order to be made. The court may make the order if it considers it necessary for the purpose of protecting children generally or any child in particular from serious sexual harm from the offender outside the UK.

Such an order does not compel an offender to surrender his passport, but breach of a Foreign Travel Order, without reasonable excuse, is a criminal offence, and the penalty on indictment is up to five years’ imprisonment.

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