Mr. Moore: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what his Departments budget is for expenditure in Kosovo on (a) staffing and other operational costs of the post, (b) technical assistance to (i) the Government of Kosovo and (ii) non-governmental organisations working in Kosovo, (c) budgetary support for (i) the Government of Kosovo, (ii) non-governmental bodies working in Kosovo and (d) other international bodies operating in Kosovo in 2008-09. 
Mr. Douglas Alexander: The Department for International Development (DFID) has an administration budget of £450,000 for its office in Kosovo in 2008-09. This excludes the cost of some staff who are based in London but provide support to DFID offices across the Western Balkans region, including Kosovo.
The budget for programme activities in Kosovo in 2008-09 is £8.8 million. This includes resources for the Conflict Prevention Pool (CPP) (£3.8 million) which is managed jointly by DFID, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and the Ministry of Defence (MOD).
DFID provides assistance to the Government of Kosovo in the form of technical assistance. No decision has yet been taken on providing budget support in Kosovo. The CPP provides assistance for non-governmental organisations in the form of grants and for international organisations including NATO. We intend to provide £3.8 million for the NATO Trust Fund for Demobilisation with Dignity of the Kosovo Protection Corps (KPC) through the CPP.
Mr. Moore: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what the outcomes were of the donors conference for Kosovo held on 11 July; and what his Departments policy objectives are for its engagement with the Republic of Kosovo. 
The UKs objective in Kosovo is to support the development of a prosperous, stable, democratic and multi-ethnic state. Within this objective, DFIDs priorities in Kosovo are to promote improved economic growth and employment, reduce the risk of conflict, and support the development of accountable Government institutions.
Mr. Moore: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development in what areas the Government of the Republic of Kosovo have requested assistance from his Department in the last 12 months. 
Mr. Douglas Alexander: The Government of Kosovo have outlined their policy priorities for the next three years and their requirements for donor assistance in their Medium-term Expenditure Framework (MTEF). This document was presented at the 11 July Kosovo Donors Conference. The UK has pledged £23 million to support Kosovo over the next three years. We will align our support with the priorities in Kosovos MTEF and are actively encouraging all other donors to do likewise.
Gillian Merron: Since 2001, the Department for International Development (DFID) has spent over £10 million per year to clear and reduce the impact of land mines, cluster munitions and other unexploded remnants of war in developing countries around the world.
(a) In Afghanistan, DFID is providing £10.6 million over the next five years to the charity HALO Trust to clear land mines and other unexploded ordnance in Herat Province, in order to return land back to productive use for the poor and vulnerable.
(b) In Cambodia, DFID funds demining work through the charities HALO Trust and Mines Advisory Group (MAG). HALO Trusts programme will amount to around £3 million over the three years 2007-10, and the MAG programme will be around £1.5 million for the same period. Both organisations work to reduce the impact of mines on the most vulnerable and affected communities, with HALO focusing on large-scale humanitarian clearance and MAG linking closely to other development programmes.
(c) DFID does not currently fund any demining projects in Yemen.
Mr. Andrew Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what plans he has for the provision of aid to the Government of Nigeria to help deal with unrest in the Niger Delta region. 
Mr. Douglas Alexander:
It is important that any security improvements in the Niger Delta are made in the context of a wider peace process that includes improved development and better governance. The Department for International Development (DFID)
stands ready to assist the State Governments of the Niger Delta region to better manage their substantial resources for the good of their people. This would reduce unrest by ensuring that citizens of the Niger Delta saw some benefits from their regions oil wealth.
Progress can only be made with genuine State Government commitment to efficiently manage their resources and use them to provide good quality services for their people. Once this commitment has been demonstrated, DFID would seek to agree any further support to the Niger Delta with other international partners, including the US Government, the World Bank, the European Commission and the UN.
Mr. Andrew Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment he has made of the humanitarian implications of the breakdown of the ceasefire between the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta and the Nigerian Government. 
Mr. Douglas Alexander: The humanitarian situation in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria is already serious, with high levels of violence and insecurity, and very little provision of basic social services. Department for International Development (DFID) staff are unable to travel to the Niger Delta for security reasons, so we have been unable to make a direct assessment of the current humanitarian situation. DFID is in regular contact with the Office for Conflict and Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the United Nations Childrens Fund (UNICEF), the World Food Programme (WFP), Médecins sans Frontières (MSF), Save the Children (SCF) and Oxfam, and none of them reported any change to the humanitarian situation in the Niger Delta.
The recent breakdown of the two-week Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) cease fire will have done nothing to improve the situation in the Niger Delta. The UK remains committed to helping the Nigerian Government work towards a peaceful and sustainable solution to the underlying causes of instability in the region.
Mr. Andrew Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent discussions he has had with (a) the Foreign Secretary and (b) the Secretary of State for Defence on possible assistance to the Nigerian Government. 
Mr. Douglas Alexander: I most recently discussed possible assistance to the Nigerian Government with the Foreign Secretary and the Minister of State for the Armed Forces at the meeting of the Ministerial Committee on National Security, International Relations and Development (NSID) sub-committee on Africa held on Tuesday 15 July. We agreed that we would stand ready to offer further assistance to the Nigerian Federal Government and the State Governments of the Niger Delta in the areas of peace-building, security, development and improved governance. The Prime Minister conveyed this message to President Yar'Adua of Nigeria when they met on Wednesday 16 July.
Mr. Keith Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent assessment he has made of the effect of the security situation in Somalia on humanitarian agencies ability to access refugee camps; and if he will make a statement. 
Gillian Merron: The security situation in Somalia is deteriorating, with ongoing fighting in Mogadishu continuing to cause displacement of the population and the loss of lives. The UK Government continue to monitor the situation closely through our partners on the ground and, security permitting, visits by our staff.
Humanitarian agencies are still able to access refugee camps but under great risk. The UK Government deplore the recent escalation in the killing of aid workers. An immediate cessation of all hostilities is needed in order to allow relief agencies to meet critical humanitarian needs.
Gillian Merron: The humanitarian situation in many parts of Somalia has significantly deteriorated not only due to ongoing fighting but to drought, uncontrolled hyperinflation and a broad economic crisis. The Food Security Analysis Unit (FSAU) estimates that 2.6 million Somalis (approximately 35 per cent. of the population) will require relief assistance in 2008.
Since January 2008 the Department for International Development (DFID) has provided £17.9 million for humanitarian assistance to the worst affected areas. This includes £12 million to the World Food Programme (WFP) who are distributing more than 15,000 metric tonnes of food aid a month, and a further £1.4 million to UNICEF and World Vision for emergency nutrition projects in South Central Somalia.
Mr. Tom Clarke: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if he will make representations to his international counterparts on the deployment of naval ships to escort food aid shipments to Somalia. 
Since December 2007 the French, Danish and Dutch military forces have escorted over 70,000 metric tonnes of humanitarian aid to Somalia. Consignments included relief materials for UNICEF and UNHCR in addition to WFP food aid.
John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps his Department is taking to support multi-party democracy in Swaziland in preparation for elections in October. 
Our non-resident high commissioner and deputy high commissioner to Swaziland have raised the issue of multi-party elections in that country frequently, over the last year, with a range of figures including the King, politicians, civil servants, civil society groups and others. The Government will be giving £230,000 this year to fund the Electoral Institute of Southern Africa to train a pan-African parliamentary observer mission to all the Southern African Development Community countries holding elections in 2008-09, which includes the election in Swaziland.
Gillian Merron: The Department for International Development's (DFID) assessment of HIV prevalence in Swaziland is based on data from UNAIDS, whose mandate is to monitor HIV prevalence. UNAIDS' latest statistics show that HIV prevalence rates in Swaziland are among the highest in the world, but are improving. The current estimate of infection rates for those aged between 15 to 49 years is 26 per cent., compared to 33 per cent. in 2005. Further information is available on the UNAIDS website:
Our non-resident Mission to Swaziland, based in Pretoria, has a regular programme of quarterly visits to the Kingdom. Our non-resident deputy high commissioner, at her last visit in May, met with a wide range of Government, Opposition, non-governmental and other civil society figures. Her discussions focused on our support for multi-party elections and the implementation of a constitution which, if implemented, would enhance workers rights and benefit trade unions.
John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what his policy is on the creation of a UN Womens Agency; and what steps his Department has taken to implement this policy. 
Mr. Thomas: The Department for International Development agrees that the UN needs a single, strong agency for women that combines the different parts of the UN system that are working to enhance the status of women. We are closely involved in discussions within the UN system on the way forward.
Mr. Douglas Alexander: We have not recently discussed humanitarian aid to Zimbabwe directly with Commissioner Michel, but our officials and those of the European Commission co-ordinate closely as a matter of course, both in Brussels and Harare, on humanitarian aid and development issues in Zimbabwe
Robert Neill: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the effect of the implementation of the EU end of life vehicles directive on trends in the levels of abandonment of vehicles manufactured before July 2002. 
The number of vehicles of all ages being abandoned is one of several indicators monitored by the Department since implementing the end-of-life vehicles directive. We believe that a combination of factors has contributed to the significant reduction in the numbers of abandoned vehicles recorded in recent years. Those factors include the introduction of the End-of-Life Vehicles Regulations 2003 and the End-of-Life Vehicles (Producer Responsibility) Regulations 2005, improvements in the accuracy of the vehicle register, various Government and local campaigns to tackle abandonment, and the continuing high value of scrap metal. It is difficult to isolate the individual impact of any one of these factors.
Robert Neill: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the average cost of a hectare or equivalent measure of farmland according to the Farm Business Survey was in each year for which figures are available. 
Jonathan Shaw: While the Farm Business Survey does collect a level of information on farm balance sheets, the better measure of the value of farmland over time is provided by the aggregate balance sheet published in Agriculture in the United Kingdom.
The aggregate balance sheet shows the value of fixed assets at a point in time (December each year) and the value of liabilities at a point in time. Fixed assets are dominated by land. As the volume of land is virtually unchanging, the trend in the value of land and buildings is dominated by the effect of land prices. Estimates of the value of land and buildings from the latest balance sheet are given in the table below and show the value of UK agricultural land and buildings has increased by 40 per cent. at current prices, between 2003 and 2006.
|Value of UK agricultural land and buildings
|As at December each year
Agriculture in the UK