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16 Oct 2008 : Column 1415W—continued

Cuba: Sanctions

Mark Pritchard: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will have discussions with the US Administration on the application of trade sanctions to Cuba. [225012]

Bill Rammell: The UK regularly discusses its policy on issues of mutual concern, including Cuba, with the US. We also re-iterate our opposition to the US embargo on Cuba publicly through our yearly vote at the UN General Assembly. The last vote took place on 30 October 2007.

Northern Ireland

Borders: Vehicles

Mr. Walter: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many private cars were searched by officers of Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs or the Police Service of Northern Ireland in each month since October 2007 when crossing (a) from Northern Ireland to the Republic of Ireland and (b) from the Republic of Ireland to Northern Ireland. [227359]

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Paul Goggins: That is an operational matter for the Chief Constable. I have asked him to reply directly to the hon. Member, and a copy of this letter will be placed in the Library of the House and the Official Report.

Matters relating to officers of HMRC should be directed to HM Treasury.

International Development

Afghanistan: Overseas Aid

Ann Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development which projects his Department (a) funds and (b) provides other assistance to (i) directly and (ii) indirectly in Afghanistan; how much funding his Department is providing for such projects; and with which organisations his Department works on these projects. [225939]

Mr. Douglas Alexander: I have placed a list in the Library of all the bilateral projects that the Department for International Development (DFID) funded in Afghanistan in 2007-08. The DFID imputed share of multilateral Official Development Assistance in Afghanistan in 2006-07 (the latest year for which we have data) was £41.7 million.

DFID works with a range of organisations to deliver its programme of aid in Afghanistan, including multilateral organisations, civil society organisations, the government of Afghanistan, other bilateral donors and the private sector.

Ann Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much the Government is contributing financially to the Afghanistan National Development Strategy in 2008-09; and what involvement the Government has in the formation and implementation of the strategy. [225941]

Mr. Douglas Alexander: The production of the Afghanistan National Development Strategy (ANDS), which was published in July 2008, was led by the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (GoIRA) in consultation with donors, including the Department for International Development (DFID). All of DFID's expenditure is in line with the ANDS. We expect to spend £123 million in 2008-09. DFID alongside other donors helped finance the production of the strategy. DFID is also helping support the GoIRA to put in place effective arrangements for overall management of the ANDS as well as the development of new national programmes in key sectors.

Chad: Security

Mr. Keith Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment he has made of the effect of the security situation in eastern Chad on the delivery of humanitarian assistance to refugees in the region. [225873]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The rise of banditry, against a background of total impunity, is cited by humanitarian actors as the current main direct threat to humanitarian
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action. The key impacts are a reduction in access to affected populations by humanitarian agencies, and the disruption of service provision where access is still possible. Since the beginning of the year, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reports that there have been 120 incidents against humanitarian agencies.

The World Food Programme (WFP) ration to 240,000 refugees was cut by 20 per cent. earlier in the year, partly as a result of increasing insecurity. After a serious security incident in May, Save the Children (UK) was compelled to pull out from the central axes (Abeche-Adre). While this resulted in the disruption of health service provision to 30,000 refugees in Breidjing camp, other agencies have since stepped in to fill the gap.

Service provision to internally displaced people (IDPs) has also been affected by insecurity. Most recently, attacks on relief workers in the Abeche area have resulted in three NGOs reducing staff presence or temporarily suspending programmes. This has compromised health, nutrition, and water, sanitation, and hygiene interventions targeting 40,000 IDPs.

Mr. Keith Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what representations he has made to the government of Chad on action against perpetrators of criminal acts which impede the delivery of humanitarian aid in eastern Chad. [226081]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: According to the UN, the last year has seen an increase in the level of criminality in eastern Chad compared to 2007. There has also been a shift in the target of the criminality. Increasingly, it is the humanitarian workers that are the focus of violent crime and banditry, including attacks on compounds and carjackings.

The UK Government have not made any direct representations to the Government of Chad over this issue. However, the UK Government supported UNSCR 1778 which established MINURCAT, the UN police training and advisory mission, and authorised the deployment of an EU force (EUFOR), the humanitarian protection force in Chad and Central African Republic (CAR). The objective of this interlinked UN and EU mission is to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid. MINURCAT is specifically mandated to maintain law and order in refugee camps and internally displaced persons sites through the training of Chadian gendarmes, and to contribute to tackling the prevailing impunity by promotion of human rights and rule of law.

Humanitarian Aid

Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what proportion of his Department's budget was spent on humanitarian aid in each of the last five years. [227492]

Mr. Michael Foster: The proportion of Department for International Development (DFID) programme expenditure spent on humanitarian aid in each of the last five years is shown in the following table and split by bilateral and imputed multilateral expenditure:

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Table 1: Proportion of DFID programme expenditure spent on humanitarian aid since 2003-04
Proportion of DFID bilateral programme expenditure spent on humanitarian aid Proportion of DFID imputed multilateral expenditure spent on humanitarian aid
















Imputed multilateral expenditure is assessed from the figures reported by the multilateral organisations to the Development Assistance Committee (DAC), 2007-08 will not therefore be available until 2009.

Kosovo: Politics and Government

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent steps the Government has taken to improve the stability of the Kosovo government. [226777]

Mr. Douglas Alexander: Different Departments within the UK Government are working together to improve stability in Kosovo. We are funding work to help establish effective Rule of Law, prevent renewed conflict and to establish an effective and transparent security sector. We have allocated £4.15 million from the joint Foreign and Commonwealth (FCO)/Department for International Development (DFID)/Ministry of Defence (MoD) Conflict Prevention Pool for this work in 2008-09. To strengthen Kosovo's key institutions, the UK is also helping the Kosovo government review their structures and improve their effectiveness. These programmes are in addition to the UK's contribution to stability in Kosovo through the NATO Kosovo Force (KFOR), the UN Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), the EU's largest ever Rule of Law mission, EULEX, and the office of the EU Special Representative and International Civilian Representative in Kosovo.

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent support the Government has given to the government of Kosovo for economic growth. [226778]

Mr. Douglas Alexander: The UK is playing an active role in supporting international efforts to build economic growth in Kosovo, and thereby reduce poverty and unemployment. The Department for International Development (DFID) tabled a paper on key actions to support economic growth at the recent Kosovo Donors' conference (the paper is available online at: DFID has been instrumental in ensuring that future World Bank and European Commission (EC) assistance to Kosovo will be focused on improving the prospects of economic growth. One result of this is the World Bank's current work to design a US $90 million Multi-donor Trust Fund for Sustainable Employment. The EC has indicated it will contribute to this.

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In addition to this work, DFID is funding programmes in the Rule of Law sector which will contribute to giving investors greater confidence of a return on their investments. DFID is also supporting Kosovo's EU pre-accession process through a project to help the Government of Kosovo align its standards with those of the EU in a range of areas, including agriculture and food safety. This is important if Kosovo secures access for its products to the EU market.

Overseas Aid: Education

Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much and what proportion of UK aid was allocated to education projects in the most recent resource allocation round; what proportion of these projects are located in states affected by significant conflict; and if he will make a statement. [227436]

Mr. Douglas Alexander: The latest comprehensive spending review committed DFID to increasing its expenditure through multilateral and bilateral channels on education to £1 billion a year by 2010-11. This represents 12 per cent. of the Department of International Development's (DFID) planned total departmental spending in 2010-11.

Data are not held centrally on DFID's future spending allocation for education in states affected by conflict. Nevertheless, DFID is committed to increased support for fragile states (which include most of those significantly affected by conflict). Support to education in these countries is therefore expected to rise over the coming years.

Sudan: Overseas Aid

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much the Government plans to spend on basic services for the population in the Nuba Mountains following the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in Sudan; and how much of this has been spent to date. [225882]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: Since the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement on 9 January 2005, the Department for International Development (DFID) has allocated approximately £26.7 million to improve basic services in North Sudan (which includes the Nuba Mountains). Of the £26.1 million allocated through the Multi Donor Trust Fund (MDTF), all was disbursed. Based on figures available at 31 December 2007, approximately 18 per cent. of the total MDTF funding in the north was spent in South Kordofan.

In addition, since the inception of the Common Humanitarian Fund in 2006, DFID has provided £7.4 million ($13 million) for humanitarian and early recovery activities in Southern Kordofan.

Funding for South Kordofan includes the Nuba Mountains and other impoverished areas. Funding for the contested and politically sensitive area of Abyei is separate to this.

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Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform


Sarah Teather: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how many business improvement districts have been established in each region. [225394]

John Healey: I am the Minister responsible for policy on business improvement districts and have been asked to reply.

Number of established bids in each region
Region Number of bids



South East


South West




East Midlands


West Midlands


North East


North West


Yorkshire and Humberside


Total bids


Consumer Focus: Manpower

Mark Williams: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how many staff are expected to be employed as part of Consumer Focus Wales. [224831]

Mr. McFadden: The total number of staff who will be based at the Consumer Focus Wales office is 35.

Environment Agency: Finance

Mr. Graham Stuart: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what funding has been provided to the Environment Agency by Yorkshire Forward in each of the last five years; and what the purposes of the funding were. [223791]

Mr. McFadden: The following payments have been made by Yorkshire Forward to the Environment Agency for the last five years (April 2003 to March 2008). Payments greater than £10,000 have been itemised.

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Payment (£) Purpose



Other (seven invoices)



Other (six invoices)





One-off grant to fund capital works comprising part of the Humber Estuary Shoreline Management Plan.


Grant to fund an Opportunity Plan conducted by Scott Wilson and commissioned by the Strategic Partnership for the River Ouse and its tributaries, to identify potential locations for environmental enhancement projects, focusing on regeneration of urban waterfronts, better access to leisure activities, land management to increase wildlife, renewable energy through alternative fuel crops, and improve awareness and knowledge of river systems, (see £10,000 additional payment in 2006-07).


Data evidence and modelling techniques—SCPnet


Other (two invoices)





Grant re Ouse Enhancement Opportunity Plan (£15,000 first payment in 2005-06).


Other (seven invoices)





Data evidence and modelling techniques—SCPnet


Other (one invoice)

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