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Heavily Indebted Poor Countries

Mr. Lilley: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what was the value of debt and interest repaid on UK Government development aid loans to heavily indebted poor countries each year since 1983. [25237]

Clare Short: The value of debt and interest repaid on aid loans to the UK by the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) since 1983 is £5.292 million. Details of the amounts repaid by these countries, by year, from 1 April 1983, are shown in the table.

In July 1978, bilateral agreements to write off all outstanding balances on loans were reached with Kenya, Sierra Leone, Sudan and Tanzania. Since then, we have written off all UK aid loans to Ethiopia, Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana, Guyana, Honduras, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Senegal, Uganda and Zambia. In addition, my Department has taken the unilateral decision to forgive outstanding aid loans to Liberia and Laos. These loans are being written off as they become due.

Amounts repaid by HIPC countries
£000

PrincipalInterest
1983–841,896424
1984–851,784387
1985–86487163
1986–875620
1987–885619
1988–89
1989–90
1990–91
1991–92
1992–93
1993–94
1994–95
1995–96
1996–97
1997–98
1998–99
1999–2000
2000–014,2791,013

15 Jan 2002 : Column 142W

Mr. Lilley: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much UK Government development aid in the form of loans to Heavily Indebted Poor Countries was (a) forgiven and (b) converted to gift in each year since 1983. [25242]

Clare Short: Since 1978, the Government have cancelled aid loans to all the poorest countries, not just the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC). Since 1983, £142.714 million worth of aid loans, including interest accrued, has been forgiven for HIPC countries; details are set out, by year, in the table. In all cases, loans were converted to grants or "gifts".

In July 1978, bilateral agreements to write off all outstanding balances on loans were reached with Kenya, Sierra Leone, Sudan and Tanzania. Since then, we have written off all UK aid loans to Ethiopia, Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana, Guyana, Honduras, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Senegal, Uganda and Zambia. In addition, my Department has taken the unilateral decision to forgive outstanding aid loans to Liberia and Laos. These loans are being written off as they become due.

Debt of HIPC countries forgiven
£000

PrincipalInterestTotal
1983–84
1984–85142142
1985–961,8813302,211
1986–873,2174123,629
1987–883,0212653,286
1988–893,6042353,839
1989–903,5041963,700
1990–9130,60953431,143
1991–9210,20556910,774
1992–938,0653938,458
1993–947,8794378,316
1994–957,2984347,732
1995–967,3664607,826
1996–977,0554177,472
1997–989,59874810,346
1998–998,9641,97510,939
1999–20008,5053,21111,716
2000–018,0613,12411,185
128,97413,740142,714

Mr. Lilley: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what was the value of UK development loans to Heavily Indebted Poor Countries outstanding (a) at 31 March 1997 and (b) at the latest date for which figures are available. [25236]

15 Jan 2002 : Column 143W

Clare Short: The UK has written off all its aid loans to all the poorest countries. At 31 March 1997, outstanding development loans of £112,868,216 (principal £99,745,306; interest £13,122,910) to the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) were included in DFID's accounts. By 31 March 2001, this figure had been reduced to £68,224,071 (principal £62,852,664; interest £5,371,407). Payments are written off as they become due.

Primary Education

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what her estimate is of the percentage of children in primary schools in the largest 30 recipient countries for United Kingdom overseas aid in the latest year for which information is available; and if she will make a statement. [26685]

Clare Short: Net primary school enrolment ratios indicate the number of children of official primary school age (as defined by the national education system) who are enrolled in primary school as a percentage of the population of official primary school age. Male and female ratios for the top 30 recipient countries of UK bilateral aid in financial year 2000–01 are shown. Data are taken from UNICEF's "The State of the World's Children, 2001" and refer to the most recent year available during the period 1995–99.

Net primary school enrolment ratios
Percentage

Recipient countryMaleFemale
India7864
Uganda9283
Ghana(2)82(2)72
Bangladesh8083
Tanzania5657
Malawi(3)100(3)100
Zambia8586
Kenya(3)92(3)89
Mozambique4740
Sierra Leone(2),(3)59(2),(3)41
Rwanda6768
South Africa8886
China9999
Russian Federation(3)93(3)93
States of Ex-Yugoslavia(4)100(4)100
Montserrat(5)100(5)100
Indonesia9793
Nepal7960
Nigeria3833
Ethiopia4328
Serbia and Montenegro(3)69(3)70
Pakistan8460
Guyana8984
Zimbabwe8787
St. Helena(5)100(5)100
Iraq9888
Ukraine(2),(3)87(2),(3)86
West Bank Gazan/an/a
Jamaica8987
Bolivia(3)95(3)87

(2) Gross primary school enrolment ratio (The number of children enrolled in primary school, regardless of age, as a percentage of the population of official primary school age).

(3) Data refer to years other than those specified, differ from the standard definition or refers to only part of a country.

(4) Bosnia and Herzegovina only.

(5) Source: DFID.


15 Jan 2002 : Column 144W

Sleeping Sickness

Mr. David Marshall: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what specific assistance she gives to help combat the disease known as sleeping sickness; and if she will make a statement. [27155]

Clare Short: I refer my hon. Friend to the answer my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary gave the hon. Member for Meriden (Mrs. Spelman) on 9 January 2002, Official Report, column 838W.

Sustainable Fisheries Livelihood Project (West Africa)

Dr. Tonge: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what contribution her Department has made to the sustainable fisheries livelihood project in West Africa. [27597]

Clare Short: The Department for International Development (DFID) agreed in 1998 to provide funds for a programme to address poverty in artisanal fisheries communities in 25 countries in West Africa. The programme is being implemented by the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) in partnership with the countries of the region and DFID.

The agreed financial contribution from my Department is £21.5 million to be disbursed over five years. To date, £5.5 million has been disbursed.

DFID's contribution to the project is not restricted to funds. The project is one of the first to incorporate an explicit focus on the livelihoods of fisheries-dependent communities. DFID have provided a lead to the FAO and planners in the countries of the region in the development of more effective methods and strategies for enhancing the livelihoods of poor people. DFID-led thinking and practice are having a wide influence on the policies and practices of FAO and others, including the International Fund for Agricultural Development, who are being assisted by the project to apply the livelihoods approach to other national fisheries programmes in the region.

Dr. Tonge: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many meetings have taken place to discuss the sustainable fisheries livelihood project; and how much money has been spent on each meeting. [27595]

Clare Short: The sustainable livelihoods fisheries project is one of the first to adopt an explicit people- centred, livelihoods approach to fisheries-dependent communities. These communities are among the poorest in West Africa. As part of the project DFID is also seeking to influence FAO's own ways of working.

Livelihoods approaches are participatory and communities are involved in decisions affecting their livelihoods. It is not possible to give an exact figure of the number of meetings held. They occur as part of the processes of design, appraisal, management, monitoring and review. They take place at local, national, regional and international levels. They vary in financial cost to the project from zero (when, for example, a local community meets to discuss its priorities and plans) to several thousands of pounds (when, for example, managers and national representatives come together each year to take strategic decisions). The meetings are held to address the objective of the project, which is the improvement of livelihoods in poor fisheries communities.

15 Jan 2002 : Column 145W

Dr. Tonge: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what activities have taken place as a result of the sustainable fisheries livelihood project in West Africa; and how they have benefited local communities. [27596]

Clare Short: A wide range of activities have taken place as a result of the project. At the level of policy, the project has prepared national strategies for poverty reduction in fisheries communities for Mali, Guinea and Guinea Bissau; has conducted analyses of the policies, institutions and processes which create and reinforce poverty in fisheries communities in Ghana and Senegal; and is developing general guidelines for reducing poverty in fisheries communities.

In addition, the project is providing support to enhance livelihoods in fishing communities through numerous small projects. A table listing these projects has been placed in the Library of the House.


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