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Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what discussions he has had with Zimbabwean authorities on the provision of humanitarian assistance to that country. 
Mr. Douglas Alexander: Providing humanitarian assistance in Zimbabwe has been extremely challenging in recent months due to Mugabes callous suspension of most relief operations. Department for International Development (DFID) officials have been working closely with the UN, EC and NGOs, in Zimbabwe and internationally, to lobby for an immediate resumption of all humanitarian activities, including food aid for up to 2 million Zimbabweans. As a result of these efforts, the Zimbabwean Government have finally allowed humanitarian agencies to resume their essential support. We are now closely monitoring the situation on the ground to assess humanitarian needs and ensure our partners can access the most vulnerable Zimbabweans.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many staff his Department has based in Afghanistan, other than those engaged locally; and how many of those hold a qualification in Dari or Pashto. 
David Miliband: The UK employs a broad range of staff in support of the Government of Afghanistan to help develop a stable and secure Afghanistan. More than 100 civilian staff in Kabul and more than 40 staff in Helmand are employed from across the Government, including the Stabilisation Unit, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), the Department for International Development and the Afghanistan Drugs Inter-Departmental Unit. Their roles include work in governance, stabilisation, reconstruction and development, security sector reform and counter narcotics.
Mr. Davey: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many pictures of Afghan poppy fields have been taken by the Surveillance, Monitoring, Targeting and Verification project in each year of its operation; how many of these pictures have been used by the Afghan authorities in the fight against narcotics in each year; and if he will make a statement. 
David Miliband: The contract for the Survey, Monitoring, Targeting and Verification (SMTV) Project was signed in September 2006. Since its establishment, SMTV has delivered timely and accurate data on poppy cultivation and eradication in Afghanistan for use by HMG to support the Government of Afghanistans implementation of their National Drug Control Strategy.
No digital aerial photographs or satellite images were taken during the period of September 2006 to December 2006 as the poppy harvest period was over. In 2007, 12,500 digital aerial photographs and 43 satellite images were taken. In 2008, 135 satellite images were taken. These photographs and images were used to measure poppy cultivation and to target and measure eradication. This data was used by the UK, in concert with the
Government of Afghanistan and key international partners, to formulate policy and monitor progress on counter narcotics in Afghanistan.
Afghan authorities in the Ministry of Counter Narcotics have used map products produced from the photographs. In addition, some photos and images have been used in training programmes for Afghan nationals.
Mr. Davey: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many staff the British Embassy Drug Team (BEDT) in Afghanistan has; and how often BEDT has met Afghan counter-narcotics officials in the last 12 months. 
David Miliband: At present, there are eight staff working in the counter-narcotics team in Kabul (formerly known as the British Embassy Drugs Team) and two working in the counter-narcotics team in Lashkar Gar. However, both teams work closely with a number of other Government organisations, including the Serious Organised Crime Agency, HM Revenue and Customs, the Department for International Development, the Ministry of Defence, as well as a number of consultancy experts who work, in varying degrees, on counter-narcotics.
At least one member of the counter-narcotics team, and often more, meet Afghan counter-narcotics officials daily. This includes meetings with Ministers in the Ministry of Counter-Narcotics at least once a week.
Mr. Davey: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what expenditure his Department has incurred in establishing and maintaining the British Embassy Drug Team in Afghanistan since its establishment. 
David Miliband: The British Embassy Drugs Team was formed in 2003 as part of the established British embassy in Kabul. The salary expenditure incurred in maintaining the British Embassy Drugs Team in Afghanistan is shown below for each financial year since 2003:
|Financial year||Number of staff (not all staff were present for the full year)||Total of salaries paid (based on average salaries, excluding personal allowances) (£)|
Mr. Davey: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what expenditure his Department has incurred in establishing and maintaining the Surveillance, Monitoring, Targeting and Verification project since its establishment; and if he will make a statement. 
The Survey, Monitoring, Targeting and Verification Project commenced in September 2006. Since then the Government have paid £5,903,990 towards
the provision of timely and accurate data on poppy cultivation and eradication in support of the Government of Afghanistans National Drug Control Strategy.
Mr. Davey: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what criteria his Department used to determine its support for the nomination of General Khodaidad to the post of Minister of Counter-Narcotics in the government of Afghanistan; and if he will make a statement. 
David Miliband: The decision on the appointment of General Khodaidad as Minister of Counter Narcotics in Afghanistan was made by the President of Afghanistan in 2007. The UK played no part in this appointment.
Mr. Davey: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs which projects his Department sponsors as part of its counter-narcotics programme; what the objectives of each such project are; and how much funding his Department has provided for each such project in the last five years. 
David Miliband: The UK has funded more than 500 counter-narcotics projects across the world, including capacity building for anti-narcotics forces in a number of partner countries and strengthening their law enforcement agencies' investigative skills. This also includes an integrated counter-narcotics programme in Afghanistan focussing on: interdiction and enforcement; justice; elimination; counter-narcotics governance; livelihoods and growth; regional activities; and Helmand counter-narcotics work. In total, the UK has spent £159.8 million on our counter-narcotics programme from 2004-08. A further £39.7 million has been earmarked for the current financial year 2008-09.
Mr. Davey: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will publish the Governments counter-narcotics strategy for Afghanistan together with the names of its authors and significant contributors. 
It was produced by the Afghan Drugs Inter-Departmental Unit, which comprises staff from a variety of Whitehall Government Departments, including the FCO, the Department for International Development, the Home Office, the Ministry of Defence, the Serious Organised Crime Agency and HM Revenue and Customs.
Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what publicity strategy his Department adopted in respect of the recent deployment of British police officers to Kabul. 
The UK has a comprehensive communications strategy for Afghanistan, including our support for building the rule of law. We have offered
several broadcasters and newspapers the opportunity to interview UK police mentors in Kabul and Helmand. We intend to organise press briefings to provide further detail about recently deployed UK police, taking into account the security of the officers concerned.
Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make it his policy to consult the relevant Select Committees of the House on any future deployment of British police officers to Kabul; and if he will make a statement. 
Dr. Howells: There are no plans to make it our policy to consult Select Committees on any future deployment of British police officers to Kabul. The International Development Committee was briefed on the EU Police Mission (EUPOL) in Afghanistan on 17 January 2008. The Government deposits Explanatory Memoranda on EUPOLs legal documents at the relevant times with the House of Commons Parliamentary European Select Committee.
Dr. Howells: In addition to our assessed contribution of £5,490,370 (financial year 200-08), the UK meets all personnel-related costs of seconding British officers to the EU Police mission in Afghanistan. As at July 2008, this amounted to a spend of £959,000 on seconded personnel.
Mr. Moore: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the EU police mission in Afghanistan; which states are contributing to the mission; and how much each state is contributing. 
Dr. Howells [holding answer 22 July 2008]: As at July 2008, the EU Police Mission to Afghanistan (EUPOL) was making steady progress towards full deployment and had a presence in 14 provinces. The Mission is developing important working relationships with the US police teaming programme. Personnel from EUPOL are also working with the International Policing Co-ordination Board to develop a shared vision for the role of the Afghan police and with the US to strengthen the capability of the Afghan Ministry of Interior, both of which will be key to the success of police reform. In recognition of the importance of EUPOL and the role it plays in police reform in Afghanistan, the Government supported the ambition to significantly increase the size of the mission as agreed in May 2008. As at July, 18 states were seconding personnel to EUPOL. This breaks down as follows:
Dr. Howells [holding answer 22 July 2008]: At 28 March 2008, according to figures provided by the US, total strength of the Afghan police was approximately 78,000 personnel and the force was deployed in every province in Afghanistan.
The International Policing Coordination Board (IPCB) is working to develop a vision for the Afghan police that will define its future role in both law enforcement and counter insurgency operations. The IPCB includes representatives from the Afghan Ministry of Interior, the US and the EU and other actors. The US is pursuing a police reform programme called Focused District Development which provides equipment, training and mentoring in law enforcement techniques to police officers at the tactical level. The EU, through the European Policing mission to Afghanistan, provides framing and mentoring for the Afghan police at the strategic and regional levels.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what estimate he has made of the number of (a) Chinese and (b) Tibetans (i) killed and (ii) injured in the recent earthquake whose epicentre was on the borders of the Tibetan Ngaba Autonomous Prefecture. 
Meg Munn: At the time, official Chinese estimates of the number of fatalities, as a result of the earthquake in Sichuan Province, was 69,197. The Chinese estimate for injuries was 374,176 and 18,340 estimated missing. We do not have figures broken down by ethnic group.
My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary discussed the relief effort with Chinese Foreign Minister Yang on 12 June. The Government provided around £2.55 million at the time in assistance as well as sending a medical team to participate in the relief effort.
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