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West Timor

Ann Clwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps are being taken to provide humanitarian relief to the refugees in West Timor; and what discussions he has had with the Indonesian Government over ensuring a secure environment for refugees and humanitarian agencies in West Timor. [159927]

Clare Short: Accurate information on conditions in the refugee camps in West Timor remains difficult to obtain, following the withdrawal of UN staff and international NGOs in the aftermath of the killing of three UN workers in Atambua last September. The Indonesian Government appear to be managing the situation relatively well, and there have been no reports of widespread hunger, or appeals for humanitarian assistance.

Staff from my Department and from the Embassy in Jakarta participated in a meeting last week at which a draft Government of Indonesia plan to resolve the refugee situation in West Timor was discussed. This included a discussion of security, particularly ensuring a secure environment for the planned registration of refugees due

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to take place in late May. A UN mission to review security conditions in West Timor is expected to visit in mid May.

Fish (Research)

Mr. Alan Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, pursuant to her answer of 25 April 2001, Official Report, column 300W, on genetically modified fish, if she will identify the two environmental impact assessments referred to in her answer, indicating where the reports are available. [159864]

Clare Short: Results of the first study are described in "Transgenic fish: an evaluation of benefits and risks" published in Fish and Fisheries. Results of the second study are described in "Growth and nutritional trials on transgenic Nile tilapia containing an exogenous fish growth hormone gene". This paper has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Fish Biology.

Mr. Alan Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what contractual relationship exists between her Majesty's Government and fish geneticists at the University of Wales; and what returns her Department has had to date from the profit sharing agreement. [160059]

Clare Short: The University of Wales was contracted to manage my Departments fish genetics research programme until 31 March 2001 when the contract ended. From 1 April 2001, the programme has merged with the aquaculture research programme managed by the University of Stirling.

Fishgen Ltd., a company established by the University of Wales to market the products of fisheries research, uses a proportion of its profits to supplement funding from my Department for fisheries research of benefit to the needs of poor people in developing countries.

Mr. Alan Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, pursuant to her answer of 10 April 2001, Official Report, column 547W, if she will list Departmental staff involved at the Hanoi conference in November 2000, other United Kingdom participants who attended and those assisted to do so by Her Majesty's Government's funding; and where the conference report and papers are available. [160058]

Clare Short: I shall send my hon. Friend a summary note of the meeting and a list of participants. A report of the proceedings is in preparation.


Mr. Wells: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will list the projects funded by her Department in Zimbabwe. [159567]

Clare Short: DFID is currently operating the following projects in Zimbabwe:

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ProjectDate£ million
Sexual and Reproductive Health Phase 22000-0420
Rural District Councils Capacity Building Programme1996-200110.6
Civil Society Land Resettlement Challenge Fund2000-045
Integrated Poverty Monitoring and Analysis System2000-031.06
Wills and Inheritance Laws2000-020.86
Bikita and Lupane Integrated Rural Water Supply and Sanitation projects1995-20026.27
Social Marketing of Condoms1996-20012.8
Small Dams Rehabilitation1997-20011.96
Empowerment of Farm Worker Communities1999-20021.6
Credit for the Informal Sector1995-20021.3
Agribusiness Entrepreneur Network and Training Development1997-20010.49
Bulilima-Mangwe Water Supply and Environmental Rehabilitation project1998-20010.31
Election monitoring2000-010.25
Community Based Maintenance of Water Points in Binga1998-20010.24
Food security Risk Mapping1997-20010.23
Dynamics of Rural Poverty study1999-20010.2
Emergency Preparedness2000-010.17
Education sector HIV/AIDS impact assessment20010.13
Emergency cholera control20010.05

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I have closed 12 development projects and suspended or substantially modified five others over the last 12 months. I continue to keep the Zimbabwe programme under regular review to ensure it is still effective and appropriate in the current difficult circumstances.

Vision 2020

Mr. Alan Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what support her Department has given to the Vision 2020 proposals for agricultural reform in Andhra Pradesh, India. [159759]

Clare Short: DFID is providing £45 million over seven years to support a major rural livelihoods project in Andhra Pradesh. A key objective is to support the development of agricultural productivity in the state's rain-fed drylands. Another objective is to support the state Government's capacity to address key policy issues in agriculture, natural resources management and rural development.

We are also currently financing a review of public expenditure in the state. This review will assist the state Government in reallocating resources to meet the Vision 2020 objectives, including those in the agricultural sector.

With the World bank, we are considering budgetary assistance to Andhra Pradesh. In the rural sector, the proposed programme would help the state Government provide the necessary enabling environment for faster agricultural growth.


Minimum Wage

Mr. Salmond: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many people between the ages of 18 and 21 years are entitled to receive the minimum wage in (a) Scotland and (b) the United Kingdom. [159853]

Miss Melanie Johnson: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician. I have asked him to reply.

Letter from Len Cook to Mr. Alex Salmond, dated 2 May 2001:

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Foot and Mouth

Mr. Chope: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) pursuant to his answers of 26 April 2001, Official Report, column 341W, if he will list by valuation office area the number of appeals (a) made and (b) decided at the most recent date for which the information is available; [160065]

Dawn Primarolo [holding answer 1 May 2001]: The Valuation Office agency opened consultations about FMD with the national ratepayers valuation forum on 30 March 2001.

As I said in my answer of 26 April 2001, Official Report, column 341W, the Valuation Office is continuing to receive appeals. It is not possible to give a final figure.

The need for additional resource is being considered.

Stamp Duty

Mr. Loughton: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he will present his detailed proposals for the operation of differential stamp duty rates in areas of deprivation. [160107]

Miss Melanie Johnson: The Government are working closely with the devolved authorities to ensure that the stamp duty relief for disadvantaged communities is

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targeted at the most disadvantaged areas in all parts of the UK. The areas to qualify will be published as soon as possible.

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