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14. Mr. McFall: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assistance her Department is providing to strengthen legal institutions and financial systems in developing countries in order to combat corruption. [143209]

Clare Short: We are working to strengthen investigative capacity through the establishment of independent anti-corruption agencies (for example in Kenya, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia), as well as strengthening the criminal investigation capacity of police services (for example Jamaica, Malawi, Sierra Leone), and strengthening prosecutorial capacity through

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assistance to public prosecutor offices and measures to ensure judicial transparency, accountability and independence (for example India, Malawi, Uganda).

Support for strengthening financial systems to reduce corruption includes helping governments to improve public sector budgetary and financial management (for example Ghana, Malawi, Nepal) including in particular systems for revenue collection (for example Mozambique, Rwanda, South Africa) and public procurement (for example Zambia), strengthening accounting and audit systems (for example Zambia), and enhancing public oversight through stronger public accounts and other parliamentary committees (planned in, for example, Ghana, Indonesia, Kenya).

Belarus and the Ukraine

15. Mr. Llwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what financial aid is being given to Belarus and the Ukraine; and if she will make a statement. [143210]

Clare Short: Britain provides technical assistance to Ukraine to assist the reform effort to the value of £9 million per year, and to Belarus approximately £100,000 per year. In addition the UK supports both countries through our contributions to multilateral agencies, including an average of £13 million and £0.9 million a year as the UK share of European Community assistance to Ukraine and Belarus respectively.


16. Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will make a statement on UK aid to Tanzania. [143211]

Clare Short: We expect to provide £65 million in development assistance to Tanzania this financial year. This is disbursed under the terms of a Country Strategy Paper agreed with the Government of Tanzania in June 1999. I discussed our joint work when I visited Tanzania in April 2000.

Tanzania continues to make important progress in introducing structural reforms and stabilising its economy. Both this and an increasing focus on poverty reduction in government spending makes it likely that Tanzania will qualify for debt reduction under the HIPC initiative, reaching completion point later this year.

The recently finalised Tanzania Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) sets out the Government of Tanzania's medium-term strategy to meet the international development targets. My Department is currently considering how we can best offer further support for this.

Conflict Prevention

17. Mr. Savidge: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what mechanisms exist to co-ordinate the work of her Department on conflict prevention with that of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Ministry of Defence. [143212]

Clare Short: Two sub-Committees of the Ministerial Committee on Defence and Overseas Policy have been established to improve joint working on Conflict

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Prevention. One of these which I chair focuses on conflict prevention in sub-Saharan Africa. The other deals with conflict prevention in the rest of the world and is chaired by the Foreign Secretary. Other meetings take place on a regular basis between officials from the concerned Departments.

Development Assistance (Trade Conditions)

18. Mr. Goggins: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will make a statement on her proposal to separate development assistance from conditions relating to trade. [143213]

Mr. Foulkes: In our White Paper on making globalisation work for the poor, published on 11 December 2000, we announced that from 1 April 2001, all UK development assistance will be untied.

Improving the effectiveness of development assistance is essential if we are to reduce the proportion of people living in absolute poverty. This means helping developing countries to establish and implement poverty reduction policies, finding ways of overcoming critical constraints and ceasing to finance projects that have no strategic impact. It also means donors working closely together and ending inefficient practices. Aid tying is a notable example. Donors must also develop common procedures to reduce the administrative burden on recipient governments.

Ring-fencing contracts for national suppliers not only reduces the value of aid by around 25 per cent. but is also grossly inefficient and inhibits efforts to integrate donor strategies and procedures. By untying we will be able to make better use of resources available to tackle poverty. Our action also strengthens our position in pressing vigorously for untying by others both in the OECD and in the European Union.

Palestinian Authority

19. Mrs. Ellman: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment she has made of the impact of aid to support economic development in the Palestinian Authority. [143214]

Clare Short: Development assistance from the international community has contributed to economic development in the West Bank and Gaza Strip in recent years. As part of this wider effort the UK is working within the context of the Middle East Peace Process to support the building of a Palestinian nation that encourages economic and social development that benefits the poor. DFlD's support includes technical assistance to increase Palestinian capacity to negotiate with the Israelis on economic and other issues. Monitoring of initiatives by DFID and the Palestinian Authority have confirmed that this assistance is having a worthwhile impact. However, economic and social benefits are being eroded by the continuing conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. In a recent report the Office of the United Nations Special Co-ordinator has estimated that the confrontations, mobility restrictions and border closures are costing the Palestinian economy at least US$8 million per day.

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Globalisation White Paper

20. Mr. Swayne: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will make a statement about her White Paper on Globalisation. [143215]

Clare Short: The new White Paper "Eliminating Poverty--making Globalisation work for the poor" stands alongside our first White Paper published in 1997. It reaffirms our commitment to the elimination of poverty and the achievement of the International Development Targets. It sets out an agenda for managing globalisation, trade, investment and the new technologies in a way that could ensure that the abundance of wealth currently being generated brings benefits to the one in five of humanity who live in extreme poverty.

The White Paper makes it clear that globalisation can be managed either to bring a massive improvement in life to the poor of the world or could lead to their growing marginalisation and the division, squalor, poverty, conflict and environmental degradation to which this would lead. The future is not pre-determined. It is a matter of will and choice. The White Paper is designed to help mobilise a stronger international effort to systematically reduce poverty.

EC Development Assistance

21. Mr. David Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what discussions she and the Under-Secretary have had with their counterparts in other EC countries on the effectiveness of EC development assistance. [143216]

Clare Short: I frequently meet my counterparts from other EC countries. We most recently met as a group at the November Development Council where we agreed a new poverty-focused Development Policy for the EC. My hon. Friend the Under-Secretary recently met counterparts from Sweden and Belgium, prior to their forthcoming presidencies of the EU, and Denmark and Germany to discuss means of improving the effectiveness of EC development assistance.

24. Mr. Tom Clarke: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will make a statement on her Department's collaboration with EU development donors. [143219]

Clare Short: We collaborate closely with other EU donors, including the European Commission, in order to improve the impact of our programmes on the International Development Targets. The Under-Secretary and I meet regularly with our EU counterparts to discuss development policies and their implementation. At the EU Development Council in November we agreed a new poverty-focused Development Policy for the EC as well as a new framework for preparing EC country strategies. The new framework emphasises the need for the Community to collaborate closely with other agencies, including the World Bank and the IMF. My Department is increasingly collaborating with EU and non-EU agencies in developing countries in backing poverty reduction programmes prepared by those countries.

27. Mr. David Heath: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what progress has been made in reforming the European Union's programmes for international aid. [143222]

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Clare Short: There have been a number of welcome steps in recent months to improve the management and focus of EC development programmes. Financial and staff management across the Commission is being reformed, the structure and procedures for implementation of external programmes has been improved, and the EC has for the first time agreed a clear development policy with poverty reduction as its central objective. These measures were essential to tackle the very poor performance of EC development programmes. But a great deal remains to be done before we see improved impact on the ground. We are working closely with the Commission and other member states to ensure that the reforms that have been agreed are implemented effectively.

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