Previous Section Back to Table of Contents Lords Hansard Home Page



30 Nov 2007 : Column WA143



30 Nov 2007 : Column WA143

Written Answers

Friday 30 November 2007

Afghanistan: AIDS

Lord Avebury asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for International Development (Baroness Vadera): The ActionAid report on HIV/AIDS in Afghanistan is a very welcome contribution to the body of knowledge on the disease in Afghanistan. We agree with the overall conclusion that while Afghanistan does not yet have a large number of reported cases, there is a need to take action now, before it is too late to make a difference to the course of the epidemic.

The proposal in the report for international organisations and NGOs to provide co-ordinated support to the National Aids Control Programme makes good sense and we would expect the small number of donors involved in this sector to respond positively to this suggestion. DfID is not directly engaged in HIV/AIDS or the wider health sector in Afghanistan, and therefore not in a position to judge whether there is a need to review the World Health Organisation’s AIDS-related assistance.

Bangladesh: Cyclone

Baroness Uddin asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for International Development (Baroness Vadera): Relief efforts are being led by the Government of Bangladesh, with international support being led by the United Nations. Seventy per cent of the affected areas have now been reached. However, more needs to be done in order to assist the huge numbers in need. The UK Government have announced a contribution of £2.5 million for immediate cyclone relief efforts, channelled through the United Nations Development Programme, to provide food, safe water, medical treatment and housing repairs. In addition, we will consider our response to additional needs identified once damage and needs assessments have been carried out by the Government of Bangladesh and the UN.

Lord Roberts of Llandudno asked Her Majesty's Government:



30 Nov 2007 : Column WA144

Baroness Vadera: On 20 November 2007 my right honourable friend the Secretary of State for International Development announced a contribution of £2.5 million for immediate cyclone relief efforts (Official Report, col. WS105). This has been channelled through the United Nations Development Programme to provide food, safe water, medical treatment, and housing repairs. In addition, we are providing support through some of our existing development programmes in Bangladesh, including £500,000 through the Health, Nutrition, and Population Sector Programme to procure immediate medical supplies. We will consider our response to additional needs identified once damage and needs assessments have been carried out by the Government of Bangladesh and the United Nations.

Climate Change

Lord Beaumont of Whitley asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for International Development (Baroness Vadera): The World Bank has no formal role in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change negotiations—it attends as an observer. As such, it will not have the opportunity to support the EU or any other party.

The EU's negotiating position for Bali includes a focus on assisting developing countries to tackle the challenges raised by climate change. This includes helping them to move to low-carbon development strategies and to adapt to the impact of climate change. The International Development Association and the rest of the World Bank group have an important role in assisting developing countries in tackling these challenges and promoting sustainable low-carbon growth to tackle poverty. IDA and the other international financial institutions are important sources of finance, analysis and expertise to assist developing countries to tackle climate change, access carbon finance and prepare themselves for a post-2012 future framework.

House of Lords: Correspondence

Lord Lucas asked the Chairman of Committees:

The Chairman of Committees (Lord Brabazon of Tara): It came to light duringthe 2007 Summer Recess that the mail pouches provided to forward mail from the House were faulty, with the perforations positioned directly along the adhesive strip. Action has been

30 Nov 2007 : Column WA145

taken to acquire a new type of pouch with the perforations positioned away from the adhesive strip to enable the pouch to be opened easily. To ensure that full or heavy pouches do not fall apart in transit the perforation is made on only one side of the pouch.The pouches are made from fully recyclable polythene.

Indigenous and Tribal Peoples

Lord Avebury asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for International Development (Baroness Vadera): In funding public bodies in any country DfID takes into account issues of discrimination, social exclusion and human rights. This includes countries with indigenous and tribal people.

Although DfID does not have specific regard to ILO Convention 169 in its aid partnerships, it does have regard to the broadly similar human rights standards in the principal international treaties, such as the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights and the International Convention on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. UK aid partnerships are based on a shared commitment with partner countries to respect human rights. In fulfilling this commitment, DfID complies with international standards which set out the rights of all people, including indigenous and tribal people. The rights in the main international conventions, which are similar to ILO Convention 169, include the right to freedom from discrimination, the right to health and education, the right to participation in public life and the right to respect for cultural life.

Israel and Palestine: Water Supply

Lord Hylton asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for International Development (Baroness Vadera): DfID has not discussed the specific problem of access to piped water with the Palestinian Authority. We have, though, held meetings with PA officials to discuss vital issues around water in July. We will meet again at the end of November as part of a regular dialogue.



30 Nov 2007 : Column WA146

The EC committed over £250,000 in 2007 to improve water supply in the West Bank. PA plans for the water sector will be set out in the forthcoming Palestinian Reform and Development Plan (PRDP). The quartet will call for financial support to the PRDP at the donor conference in December and will assist its implementation.

The UK does not have a development programme in Israel as it is a high-income country.

Navy: Royal Fleet Auxiliary

Lord Lee of Trafford asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Baroness Taylor of Bolton): During nearly all its time spent at sea, Royal Fleet Auxiliary is operationally deployed in contributing to a range of standing or contingent military tasks, meeting commitments such as those to the NATO reaction forces, or engaging in maritime security operations. Thus all sea time is operational except time spent on basic sea safety training and post-refit trials, neither of which is included in the figures below.

In this context the number of days that each RFA vessel has been operational in each of the last three financial years is as follows:

RFA2004-052005-062006-07

Argus

258

258

67

Bayleaf

293

296

144

Black Rover

100

253

258

Brambleleaf

163

235

264

Cardigan Bay

N/A

N/A

N/A3

Diligence

150

286

167

Fort Austin

98

255

276

Fort George

292

214

219

Fort Rosalie

310

70

117

Fort Victoria

126

264

295

Gold Rover

291

160

241

Grey Rover

274

2991

N/A

Largs Bay

N/A

N/A

612

Lyme Bay

N/A

N/A

N/A3

Mounts Bay

N/A

N/A

1082

Oakleaf

280

189

290

Orangeleaf

157

299

249

Sir Bedivere

296

139

183

Sir Galahad

244

204

59

Sir Percivale

2591

N/A

N/A

Sir Tristram

279

1511

N/A

Wave Knight

279

316

281

Wave Ruler

302

249

302

Notes:
1 RFA Sir Percivale was removed from service in January 2005 and Sir Tristram and Grey Rover were removed in March 2006.
2 RFAs Mounts Bay and Largs Bay came into service in September 2006 and December 2006 respectively.
3 RFAs Cardigan Bay and Lyme Bay came into service in March 2007 and November 2007 respectively.

Next Section Back to Table of Contents Lords Hansard Home Page