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Baroness Amos: The World Health Organisation (WHO) has reported a steady increase in the incidence of tuberculosis (TB) in the North Caucasus. Although no data are available on the TB incidence rate within Chechnya, WHO believes the increase there is likely to be particularly pronounced.
WHO have reported that the increased incidence of TB in the North Caucasus is likely to have negative consequences for public health and place greater strain on the Russian TB health services. In the North Caucasus, they are working to improve the capacity of local health institutions in Ingushetia to diagnose and treat TB.
Baroness Amos: At the end of 1999 84 per cent of CDC's total investment portfolio was in poorer countries and 51 per cent was in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. CDC plans its business strategy taking account of the requirements placed on it by its investment policy. These are entrenched by means of the special share. It is a requirement that over a rolling five year period 70 per cent of new investments should be in poorer countries. The aim of making at least 50 per cent of new Investment each year in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia is a target, and success in meeting it may be affected by local factors outside
Baroness Amos: A grant of £20 million was agreed with the Government of Zimbabwe in 1981. This funded 42 resettlement projects for the benefit of refugees and landless people following the Independence war. British funds were used for land demarcation and fencing, provision of water and sanitation, construction of schools, clinics, and other buildings, also crop packs and training. The grant was largely disbursed by 1989; however it was eventually closed in 1996 with £3 million unspent. Over a similar period, the counterpart funds to £27 million in programme aid were used by the Government of Zimbabwe to fund its share of the programme.
An ODA evaluation in 1988 found that the majority of families settled had benefited considerably through the provision of increased opportunities for income generation and the availability of services such as health and education. The programme had also been successful from the national economic perspective having an economic rate of return of approximately 21 per cent. The Zimbabwean Comptroller and Auditor General carried out a value for money study of the programme in 1993. Despite identifying a number of shortcomings, the study concluded that the exercise was well planned in accordance with clear policies and procedures. It had benefited mainly the landless rural poor, most of whose standard of living had significantly improved.
Baroness Amos: The Government recognise the high priority given to development issues in Scandinavian countries. This has been reflected in their levels of development assistance. We are not in a position to explain the divergence of UK and Scandinavian performances except that the values of the political leadership have been very different over large periods of time.
The Government are committed to poverty elimination and to the international development targets that mark progress towards that goal. This goal is being supported by increasing levels of UK development assistance together with a strong commitment to improve its effectiveness. The Government's approach has received a very positive assessment from the Development Assistance Committee of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.
The Chairman of Committees (Lord Boston of Faversham): The visit was made as part of Sub-Committee B's inquiry into e-commerce: policy development and co-ordination in the European Union. The purpose of the visit was to learn from United States experience in the regulation of e-commerce. The Sub-Committee met representatives of the US National Co-ordinating Committee for e-commerce, the US Department of Commerce, the National Telecommunications and Information Agency and the United States Congress. Four members of the Sub-Committee, accompanied by the Clerk and the Specialist Adviser, took part in the visit. The total cost was £21,560.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): The West Midlands Regional Office of the National Health Service Executive and the General Medical Council are carrying out separate investigations into the issues raised by Dr Pal. The GMC will consider any issues raised about the fitness to practice of individual doctors whilst the Regional Office will consider issues about the hospitals and health authorities. The West Midlands Regional Office and the GMC will be meeting shortly to ensure that these investigations proceed quickly.
Last year the Government asked the Health Advisory Service to review the standards of care for older people on acute hospital wards. The resulting report Not because they are old was issued to all NHS trusts. The Government have made it absolutely clear that high standards of care must be achieved. We are addressing the needs of older people through the National Service Framework, which will be published later this year. This will set out a framework to ensure that all older people are treated with dignity and receive the highest standards of care.
Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: In the light of the Spongiform Encephalopathy Advisory Committee's advice that there is no reason to change United Kingdom practices of stunning and pithing during slaughter of cattle, the Government have no immediate plans to do so. Such a ban however is contained in current proposals from the EU Commission setting out controls on Specified Risk Materials in the European Union. These proposals are under negotiation and the final outcome will reflect discussions now under way.
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