The Zimbabwean economy continues to collapse. Whereas prices had been doubling once a month, they now double once a week. Inflation for February was officially 165,000 per cent but according to leaked Government figures for March it has now risen to 355,000 per cent. Unofficial estimates are much
higher. Scarcity of basic food supplies, petrol and simple household goods continue due to price controls, making the black market the only optionbut only for those who can afford it. Recent partial liberalisation of exchange control mechanisms is too little too late to make any real impact on the economyand could be reversed. The continued printing of money by the Reserve Bank is fuelling further hyperinflation. There is also the prospect of new, flawed indigenisation law being implemented aggressively and further damaging the private sector.
Mr. Ellwood: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what the costs of the Park for Women in Lashkar Gah have been; and what assessment he has made of its performance against its objectives. 
Mr. Douglas Alexander [holding answer 2 June 2008]: The Bolan Park was built in Bolan, Lashkar Gah, with funding from the UK Government in 2007. The park was built at the request of the Governor of Helmand and relevant government of Afghanistan line departments, by the Afghan NGO Helping Afghan Farmers Organisation (HAFO). Much of the work was carried out using local labour. Funding for the project was provided through the UK-led provincial reconstruction team from a pool of funding jointly provided by the MOD, FCO and DFID.
This park is open to men, women and children with one day each week being set aside for women's exclusive use. The park cost around £420,000 and was built alongside the Helmand river. The costs of the park reflect the fact that during construction gabion walls were put in place to support the river bank, which helps prevent erosion, and to support the Bolan bridge. In addition, the park has extensive lighting which at night is important for improving security.
The park is popular and is in constant use, with children using it every day after school. It functions as a symbol for security and development in the area. One of the first major events hosted at the park was a US-funded agricultural fair to promote legal livelihoods attended by 1,700 Afghans. Recently the park was the venue for a successful cultural event organised by the Governor which attracted more than 2,000 local people.
Efforts are being made across the criminal justice system in Northern Ireland to drive down crime and make Northern Ireland safer for
everyone. As the PSNI crime statistics for 2007-08 show, violent crime is 7.6 per cent. lower than the previous year.
Mr. Garnier: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many foreign national prisoners were transferred from Northern Ireland to serve their sentence in their home country in the last year for which information is available. 
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many people were convicted of
shoplifting offences in Northern Ireland in each of the last 10 years, broken down by (a) sex and (b) age; and what average sentence was imposed on those who were given custodial sentences. 
Paul Goggins: Table 1 outlines the number convicted of shoplifting broken down by sex while Table 2 shows the same information broken down by age group. The average custodial sentence lengths for shoplifting offences are documented in Table 3.
|Table 1: Number convicted of shoplifting offences by sex 1997 to 2006
|Table 2: Number convicted of shoplifting offences by age group 1997 to 2006
|60 and over
|(1) Missing data relate to those offenders for whom age information is not available.
|Table 3: Number sentenced to immediate custody and average sentence length (in months) for shoplifting offences 1997 to 2006
|Number sentenced to immediate custody
|Number for which sentencing length data are available( 1)
|Average sentence length (in months)
|(1) The difference in the number sentenced to immediate custody and number for which sentencing data are available relates to the number sentenced to training school orders (1997-99) and Juvenile Justice Centre orders (1999 to 2006). Data on sentence lengths for these types of disposal are not available. In 2000, there is one additional offender for whom the sentence length is not available.