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28 Apr 2008 : Column 21W—continued

Simon Mann

Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps he plans to take in the week beginning 28th April to monitor the (a) treatment and (b) risk of torture of Mr. Simon Mann in Black Beach Prison, Equatorial Guinea; and whether Mr. Mann is still being continuously shackled. [198172]

Meg Munn: Our consul from the British Deputy High Commission in Lagos was refused consular access to Simon Mann during his last visit to Equatorial Guinea in March. We have expressed our concern to the Equatorial Guinea authorities and are urgently seeking another consular visit. His welfare remains our primary concern.

Zimbabwe: Politics and Government

Mr. Gregory Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with Governments in Southern Africa following the elections in Zimbabwe on political and economic stability. [202158]

Meg Munn: In the aftermath of the elections my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister, my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary and my noble Friend Lord Malloch-Brown have been in regular contact with heads of state and foreign ministers in the region and in the wider international community, in particular with President Mbeki. We will continue to speak to leaders in the region and encourage them to use their influence to bring about a swift resolution to the crisis.


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International Development

Bangladesh: Mining

Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what reports he has received on the effects of Global Coal Management Resources plc's open cast mining at Phulbari in north-west Bangladesh on development and poverty reduction in the area. [198831]

Mr. Malik: Global Coal Management Resources (GCM) does not currently have any mining operations in Phulbari, Bangladesh, but we are aware that plans exist. We have not received any reports on the potential effects of this, but we are aware that the Asian Development Bank (AsDB) has been assessing it. The bank has recently announced that they will not go ahead with the project proposal.

Some international and national organisations have raised concerns to us and AsDB about the environmental sustainability of the proposed project and possible negative effects for the population living in the area.

DFID's position on this has been that the social and environmental aspects of investments made by the bank need to be thoroughly considered and the bank's own procedures for project proposals must be followed.

Constella Group: HIV Infection

Chris McCafferty: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment he has made of Constella’s compliance with the UN Aids guidelines on criminalisation, disclosure and testing in relation to HIV. [199695]

Gillian Merron: The UK Government have made no formal assessment as to whether Constella Futures Group complies with UNAIDS guidelines on criminalisation, disclosure and testing in relation to HIV. We understand that the issue of compliance has arisen with regard to legislation in a number of west African countries, which DFID has not financed. We are in discussion with UNAIDS about actions they can take to promote compliance with the guidelines.

Departmental Pay

Dan Rogerson: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what the cost of (a) salaries for permanent civil service posts, (b) salaries for permanent non-civil service posts and (c) payments to temporary or agency workers in his Department was in each month since May 2005. [199533]

Gillian Merron: Due to the way historic records are held by the Department for International Development (DFID), the separate salary costs for permanent civil service posts and fixed term posts in each month since May 2005 could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

DFID employs locally engaged staff, who work in more than 50 overseas offices. They are employed on local terms and conditions. Their salaries vary from country to country and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.


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The following table covers the costs paid to the three suppliers of temporary administrative staff managed centrally since 2005.

£

May 2005

153,536.51

June 2005

142,599.46

July 2005

127,028.59

August 2005

115,890.50

September 2005

107,410.47

October 2005

103,369.50

November 2005

112,094.65

December 2005

101,490.64

January 2006

82,844.95

February 2006

81,161.81

March 2006

99,102.70

April 2006

58,766.65

May 2006

77,745.67

June 2006

116,696.65

July 2006

76,263.09

August 2006

110,239.99

September 2006

78,022.71

October 2006

95,190.27

November 2006

115,704.68

December 2006

102,202.54

January 2007

80,639.81

February 2007

106,944.08

March 2007

95,471.96

April 2007

58,254.02

May 2007

67,386.20

June 2007

56,587.46

July 2007

67,794.88

August 2007

65,631.06

September 2007

65,238.33

October 2007

72,396.59

November 2007

72,286.61

December 2007

57,578.24

January 2008

59,034.57

February 2008

68,030.28

March 2008

73,737.76


Departmental Telephone Services

Julia Goldsworthy: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what (a) 0800, (b) 0845 and (c) 0870 telephone numbers for the public are used by his Department. [200129]

Gillian Merron: DFID has one 0845 number which enables members of the public to call the public enquiry point in East Kilbride from anywhere in the United Kingdom, charged at standard local rates. DFID does not use any 0800 or 0870 numbers.

Ethiopia: Overseas Aid

Tony Lloyd: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps his Department is taking to improve (a) the availability of therapeutic foods and medical supplies and (b) the capacity to respond to health and nutrition emergencies in rural areas in the Somali region of Ethiopia. [200401]

Gillian Merron: The Department for International Development has contributed £4 million in 2007 to the
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Humanitarian Response Fund, managed by the United Nations. With support from the fund, a number of non-governmental organisations have provided high nutrient food, immunisation and other basic health services through four mobile clinics.

Tony Lloyd: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps his Department is taking in co-operation with (a) Ethiopian authorities and (b) non-governmental organisations to provide humanitarian assistance in the Somali region of Ethiopia. [200402]

Gillian Merron: The Department for International Development channels funds for humanitarian assistance in Ethiopia, including assistance for Somali region, through the Humanitarian Response Fund, managed by the United Nations Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs. The fund supports the work of non-governmental organisations and United Nations (UN) organisations in Ethiopia. In 2007 we provided the fund with £4 million and as a result about 12 non-governmental organisations and a number of UN agencies were able to respond to needs in the region.

Ethiopia: Politics and Government

Tony Lloyd: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what response he has made to the recent UN humanitarian assessment of the Somali region in Ethiopia. [200769]

Gillian Merron: The UK Government agree with the recommendations made in the United Nations assessment of the Somalia region in September 2007. We provided the UN-managed Humanitarian Response Fund with £4 million in 2007, to respond to humanitarian needs in Somali region and in other parts of Ethiopia. In response to an appeal from the Government and UN agencies in April 2008, we are considering a further contribution of £3 million for 2008.

Genetically Modified Organisms: Finance

Mr. Lilley: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what financial support his Department has provided to (a) projects and (b) institutions involved in research into genetically modified species in each of the last five years. [200395]

Mr. Thomas: In 2005-06, DFID contributed £1,553,000 to two programmes that included research using genetically modified (GM) techniques. These were the Plant Sciences Research Programme and the Aquaculture and Fish Genetics Research Programme. The main institutions that received grants included: Bangor University; Overseas Development Institute; Bath University; World Fish Centre; Stirling University; and, Asian Institute of Technology.

Since 2003 DFID has given £20 million per annum in unrestricted funding to the centres of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research. A list of these, and other international organisations receiving DFID support, is shown as follows. Some of these use GM techniques. However, it is not possible to attribute DFID funding to specific activities.


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From 2003 to 2008 DFID has provided £5 million to the African Agricultural Technology Foundation to facilitate access to both GM and conventional agricultural technologies. Last financial year DFID awarded £7.1 million of grants for research that will include the use of GM and non-GM biotechnologies. Details of these grants are provided in Table 1.

Names of international institutions receiving DFID support to conduct agricultural research


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