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Mr. Pike: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what representations her Department has received from Mongolia for assistance arising from the impact of severe winter conditions; what response has been made; and if she will make a statement. [152265]

Mr. Mullin: Mongolia has been hit by two consecutive winter disasters or 'dzuds' (1999-2000 and 2000-01) caused by severe and widespread drought in the summer, unusually cold temperatures in the autumn and heavy snow fall in winter. These conditions are seriously affecting both animal and human welfare. Last year's dzud affected 450,000 herders and killed approximately three million livestock. Compared with the same period last year the current situation is much more severe in terms of the impact of the disaster on people and livestock and on the national capacity to respond. Over 300,000 herders are affected in 20 out of 21 provinces and 600,000 livestock have already died.

The Government of Mongolia have been active in disaster preparedness and relief assistance in dzud affected areas. However the two consecutive dzud have overstretched national capacity. The Government have therefore requested international relief assistance following a needs assessment, in which my Department was involved. An appeal for $11.8 million has been launched by the Government of Mongolia through the United Nations.

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The appeal aims to target vulnerable groups in the most severely affected provinces and seeks to fulfil unmet relief needs. It focuses on building the disaster management of the Mongolian State Emergency Commission and other relevant national partners to enhance preparedness and future response.

We have offered US $1 million for the provision of emergency relief under the framework of the UN appeal to be channelled through humanitarian agencies working in Mongolia.


Dr. Tonge: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will make a statement on the outcome of the WHO Bellagio meeting on tuberculosis and the launch of a global TB drug facility. [152188]

Mr. Mullin: The first meeting of the co-ordinating board of the Stop TB Partnership took place in Bellagio, Italy from 21-22 February. There was wide representation, including from high burden countries.

The meeting was a success and reached agreement on the mission, priorities and mechanisms for governance for STOP TB and the Global TB Drug Facility (GDF). The GDF will be formally launched on World TB Day (24 March 2001). The outcome of the meeting lays the foundation to accelerate the collective and co-ordinated response to the Amsterdam Declaration, to build on the commitment of existing partners and encourage others to join this global movement to stop TB.

Aid Projects

Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what aid projects were supported by her Department, and what financial help has been given to, (a) India, (b) Pakistan, (c) Sri Lanka and (d) Kenya, during each of the last three years. [151869]

Mr. Mullin: We have given Kenya debt relief and financed projects targeted on poverty reduction, in natural resources; rural and urban development; private sector and trade development; economic governance including public sector and law reform, and the fight against corruption; political empowerment and legal rights; education; health and population; and for relief of the

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country's worst drought in 40 years. We have also part- financed the development of Kenya's Poverty Reduction Strategy, and given budgetary assistance in support of the reform programme agreed with the World bank and the IMF.

Our assistance to India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Kenya over the last three years has been:

£ million

Sri Lanka4.86.06.1


Retail Petrol Industry

Mr. Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will make a statement on recent changes in the degree of competition (a) nationally and (b) locally in the retail petrol industry. [152102]

Dr. Howells: Under UK competition legislation, the Director General of Fair Trading is responsible for monitoring markets and considering allegations of anti- competitive behaviour.

The Director General has investigated the petrol retail industry a number of times in recent years and has found it to be competitive. He has said that he will continue to monitor this market very closely.

NERC Studentships

Mr. Bennett: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what proportion of NERC studentship awards went to (a) the less prosperous UK regions, (b) North-East England, (c) North-West England, (d) East Kent, (e) Humberside and (f) South West England. [151912]

Mr. Alan Johnson: The information is as follows:

North-East England21
North-West England17
East Kent0
South West England15

This includes PhDs, MSc and MRes.

Mr. Bennett: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how NERC have met the Government's requirements for transparent decision making in awarding its recent round of studentships. [151908]

Mr. Alan Johnson: The vast majority of our students are allocated via an algorithm, which takes into account research funding (through grants, staff and fellowships) provided by NERC to all university departments with an RAE (research assessment exercise) score of 3 and above. We have been using essentially the same algorithm for six years and it is therefore well known to the departments. Not only do we provide the heads of department with a

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letter each year outlining the algorithm and any minor changes that have taken place since the previous year, but we publish it on the internet. During the summer months we provide the departments with the information that will be used to generate their allocation. They are asked to check that they agree with the information. We also allow them to challenge any decisions once they have been publicised.

Mr. Bennett: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many of NERC's recent awards of studentships were awarded for work on contamination and land remediation. [151914]

Mr. Alan Johnson: It is for the universities to decide in what areas the students conduct their research.

Mr. Bennett: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what proportion of MSc studentships awarded by NERC go to new universities. [151913]

Mr. Alan Johnson: There are no NERC MSc studentships at "new" universities.

Miners' Compensation (Erewash)

Liz Blackman: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many former miners in Erewash have (a) claimed and (b) received payments in compensation for (i) chronic bronchitis and emphysema and (ii) vibration white finger. [151651]

Mr. Hain: In the area of South Derbyshire, as defined by the postcodes DE7, DE72, NG9 and NG10, which encompasses the Erewash constituency, IRISC, the Department's claims handlers, have registered 551 claims in respect of compensation for respiratory disease and 391 claims in relation to vibration white finger--VWF. To date, there have been 113 individual payments totalling £599,702 in respect of respiratory disease and 97 individual payments in respect of VWF amounting to £502,933.

Depleted Uranium

Mr. Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what the value of sales of depleted uranium materials by BNFL was in each year since 1990. [151042]

Mr. Hain [holding answer 26 February 2001]: I understand from BNFL that prior to 1992, it made sales of machined components made from depleted uranium to the Ministry of Defence. BNFL has also, since 1990, made sales of depleted uranium to a number of industrial customers and universities for a variety of research and commercial purposes. Details of individual contracts are a commercial matter between BNFL and its customers.

Objective 1 Funds

Mr. Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how much in (a) European regional development funds, (b) European Social Fund, (c) European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund and (d) other relevant European structural funds has been (i) committed to and (ii) received by projects in each of the EU objective 1 regions. [152014]

Mr. Caborn: The figures in the table show the latest commitments and payments made under each of the EU structural funds for the three objective 1 areas of

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England. Payments under these programmes lag behind commitments because the fund regulations require ERDF expenditure to be defrayed before it is claimed. ESF projects may receive an advance payment at the beginning of the project but subsequent ESF payments take place after expenditure has been defrayed.

Objective 1 programmes in England

Commitments to projects
Cornwall and the Scilly Isles9,00016,900400026,300
South Yorkshire16,0008,0000024,000
Payments to projects
Cornwall and the Scilly Isles080000800
South Yorkshire00000


Responsibility for the implementation of the West Wales and the Valleys objective 1 programme rests with the National Assembly for Wales.

Mr. Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how much regional selective assistance is available for objective 1 projects in Cornwall for (a) 2000-01 and (b) 2001-02. [152011]

Mr. Caborn: In principle, the whole of the RSA spend in Cornwall is available for match funding of objective 1 projects. Because spend on the scheme is demand led, the Department has recommended that the local partners plan on the basis of the average spend over the previous three years.

Mr. Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) what recent assessment he has made of the number of public match funds available to applicants for EU objective 1 funds; and if he will list those funds allocated by (a) Government Departments and (b) other sources; [152012]

Mr. Caborn: In October 2000 the Government published a revised list of potential central Government sources of match funding in England. It is available at on the internet. Copies of the document have also been placed in the Libraries of the House.

The Government are unable to quantify the amount of match funding available in particular English regions or objective 1 areas because many sources are national programmes which are not regionally allocated but respond to demand. Moreover, the Government do not have information on match funding provided by local authorities and other non-central Government public bodies.

Administration of the structural funds in Wales is a matter for the National Assembly for Wales.

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