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15 July 2008 : Column 313Wcontinued
Mr. Gerald Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the (a) unit cost and (b) date of commissioning of each Swiftsure Class submarine was. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The Swiftsure Class of six submarines were commissioned at regular intervals between 1972 and 1981 and the commissioning date for each boat is listed as follows. Due to the long period of time that has since elapsed, the unit cost of these submarines is no longer held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
|Swiftsure class||Commissioning dates|
Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what his Department's plans are for the decommissioning of Type 42 destroyers. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: Our present planning assumptions, which are kept under review, are that the Type 42 destroyers will be withdrawn from service on the following dates:
|Type 42 destroyers|
Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether he plans to maintain a number of Type 42 destroyers in active service following the commissioning of Type 45s. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The Type 42 destroyers will be withdrawn gradually as the Type 45s enter service to replace them. On present plans, which are kept under review, all Type 42s will have been withdrawn by the time the sixth Type 45 enters service.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence with reference to the answer of 3 September 2007, Official Report, column 1628W, on Ministry of Defence Guarding and Police Agency: USA, when he expects the revised Memorandum of Agreement between the Ministry of Defence Police and Guarding Agency and the US Visiting Forces to be finalised. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The revised Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between the Ministry of Defence Police and Guarding Agency and the US authorities was signed on 20 May 2008. It will come into effect on 1 October 2008.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment he has made of the effects of rising energy prices in Africa. 
The Department for International Development (DFID) is taking a close interest in the effects of rising oil prices in sub-Saharan Africa, drawing
on reports by the OECD and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), as well as our own assessments. The dollar price of crude oil has doubled over the past two years. The economic impacts in Africa vary from country to country, with oil producers generally gaining through increased foreign earnings.
Non-oil producers have experienced reductions in economic growth. According to the IMF, an increase in the real price of crude oil from $75 to $100 from October 2007 to April 2008 has reduced economic growth by between 0.2 and 1.0 per cent. For some countries, the impacts of high oil prices has been partly offset by higher prices earned from other exported commodities. For all countries, there have been increases in the consumer price of oil products, such as petrol and kerosene.
Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assistance his Department provides to African countries to help them protect their waters from illegal fishing; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Thomas: The Department for International Development (DFID) has funded research which showed that illegal fishing costs the global economy some $23 billion per year. This includes around $1 billion in sub-Saharan Africa, representing a quarter of the total value of legitimate African fish exports. DFID has contributed some £700,000 to increase awareness of illegal fishing in southern Africa. This culminated in the Southern Africa Development Commission (SADC) Ministerial Conference on Illegal Fishing held in Namibia on 4 July (2008), at which urgent measures to tackle illegal fishing were discussed and agreed; these included improving sharing regional intelligence, improving fisheries governance and to encourage market measures that keep illegal produce out of supply chains. Subject to design and appraisal, DFID has allocated £6 million over six years to take this forward under an international partnership for African fisheries governance and trade. Partner donors are likely to include Norway, Germany, the World Bank and the European Commission.
DFID is also providing financial support for the operations of the joint maritime authority in Sierra Leone, which is tackling illegal fishing in that country.
Mr. Andrew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of UK relief and reconstruction aid in Bangladesh following the November 2007 cyclone. 
Mr. Malik: Following the 2007 cyclone in Bangladesh, the UK has contributed just over £15 million in relief and reconstruction aid. This has so far helped more than 2.8 million people in Bangladesh affected by the cyclone, and over the past eight months, has resulted in the following:
812,268 people benefited from receiving basic life saving survival packages;
66,375 people have received shelter assistance in the form of repairs or new constructions;
416,332 people have received livelihoods recovery and restoration support to help them generate incomes again;
1,293,650 people have received access to improved water services;
233,240 people have received access to sanitation, particularly women.
We are currently planning for a full independent evaluation to take place in October to look at the effectiveness of our relief and reconstruction funding for both the 2007 cyclone and floods in Bangladesh, as well as providing lessons to take forward for future emergency responses.
Mr. Redwood: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many staff in his Department have been (a) dismissed and (b) disciplined for their conduct in the last two years. 
Gillian Merron: In the last two years, the number of staff within the Department for International Development who have been:
(a) dismissed due to conduct: 5
(b) disciplined due to conduct: 17
Mr. Redwood: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many staff in his Department have taken early retirement in the last two years. 
Gillian Merron: 135 Department for International Development (DFID) staff have taken early retirement during the period 1 July 2006 to 30 June 2008.
Mr. Ellwood: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many staff in his Department took second language training in each of the last five years; and what the five languages in which such training was most frequently undertaken were. 
Gillian Merron: Requirements for language training are assessed by each overseas office and based upon business priorities. As such the Department for International Development (DFID) does not hold central records on language training but according to our main external language training provider 130 staff have received training in the last 18 months. This is equivalent to 35 per cent. of home civil service staff posted overseas at any given time. The top five languages in which training was most frequently undertaken wereFrench, Arabic, Spanish, Italian and Russian.
Mr. Andrew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what progress has been made in the UK relief and reconstruction effort in areas affected by the 2005 earthquake in Pakistan. 
Mr. Malik: The Department for International Development (DFID) provided £53 million of emergency relief (food and shelter) over six months to help the 3.5 million people affected by the October 2005 earthquake in Pakistan.
Since then, we have been working closely with the Government of Pakistan to support the reconstruction and rehabilitation process. This assistance, totalling £51 million to date, has helped construct 250,000 houses using seismic resistant techniques. It will also fund the construction of 50 new seismic resistant bridges to further help those communities cut off by the earthquake and to improve road access in many remote areas. In
partnership with the UN we have also funded almost 900 fully equipped prefabricated offices to get local government back to work while permanent buildings are repaired. Other future work planned includes rebuilding of schools and other education institutions, almost 6,300 of which were damaged by the earthquake.
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Minister for Women and Equality if she will list the conferences hosted by the Government Equalities Office in each of the last two years; and what the cost was of each conference. 
Barbara Follett: Since the Government Equalities Office (GEO) was established in October 2007, it has hosted the following conferences:
|Events as part of the European Year of Equal Opportunities for All 2007|
|GEO contribution (£)|
Women and Men working together to achieve Gender Equality Event
John Bercow: To ask the Minister for Women and Equality what funding her Department has allocated to charities which provide specialist support to women who have been affected by domestic violence over the next three years. 
Barbara Follett: The Government Equalities Office (GEO), has a strategic and influencing role within Government to address the disadvantage that individuals experience because of their gender; race; disability; age; sexual orientation; religion or belief. It is managing a cross-Government emergency fund aimed at keeping a number of rape crisis centres open. However, GEO does not typically allocate funding to charities which provide specialist support services to those experiencing disadvantage and has no plans to do so for charities supporting women affected by domestic violence.
The responsibility for funding decisions about local level, including the provision of specialist support to women who have been affected by domestic violence, rests with local authorities. GEO will continue to work in partnership with the Women's National Commission, the Equalities and Human Rights Commission and other Government Departments to keep a close watch on the way in which local areas prioritise funding for domestic violence services.
Mr. Hepburn: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) how much money has been collected by the Child Support Agency from non-resident parents in (a) Jarrow constituency, (b) South Tyneside, (c) the North East and (d) the UK in each year since 1997; 
(2) in respect of how many children child maintenance payments were made in (a) Jarrow constituency, (b) South Tyneside, (c) the North East and (d) the UK in each year since 1997. 
Mr. Plaskitt: The administration of the Child Support Agency is a matter for the Chief Executive. He will write to my hon. Friend with the information requested.
Letter from Stephen Geraghty, dated 15 July 2008:
In reply to your recent Parliamentary Question about the Child Support Agency, the Secretary of State promised a substantive reply from the Chief Executive.
You asked the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how much money has been collected by the Child Support Agency from non-resident parents in (a) Jarrow constituency (b) South Tyneside (c) the North East and (d) the UK in each year since 1997;  and
For how many children child maintenance payments were made in (a) Jarrow constituency (b) South Tyneside (c) the North East and (d) the UK in each year since 1997. 
Such information as is available is presented in the attached table, which shows both the amount of money collected or arranged and the number of children benefiting from child maintenance since 1997.
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