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Publicity Expenditure

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment she has made of the total real terms expenditure of her Department, its agencies and non-departmental public bodies on publicity in each of the years (a) 1997–98, (b) 1998–99, (c) 1999–2000, (d) 2000–01 and (e) 2001–02 (i) to date and (ii) as estimated for the whole of the present year; and if she will break these figures down to indicate expenditure on (A) advertising and (B) press and public relations. [36160]

Clare Short: Expenditure in relation to paid publicity in the years in question was as follows:

£000
1997–98410
1998–99697
1999–2000880
2000–011,487
2001–02(83)1,194
2001–02(84)1,410

(83) To date

(84) Estimated


The annual totals given include expenditure on departmental publications, exhibitions, visits and displays, photography, video production and internet services. The increase over the period reflects our commitment to greater openness, as well as to promoting greater public awareness and understanding of international development issues.

We hold a separate budget for Press Office running costs (other than salary costs), for which expenditure in the years in questions was:

£000
1998–9970
1999–2000151
2000–01119
2001–02(85)126
2001–02(86)175

(85) To date

(86) Estimated


Figures for 1997–98 are not obtainable without involving disproportionate cost.

DFID does not hold a specific advertising budget. However the bulk of our paid advertising relates to recruitment advertising in newspapers and journals, costing around £1 million a year.

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Industrial Action

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many days have been lost owing to industrial action by staff in her Department, agencies and non-departmental public bodies in each of the last four years. [36191]

Clare Short: There have been no days lost owing to industrial action.

Russia

Jim Dobbin: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development who conducted the recent study in Russia on the provision of reproductive health services funded by the Department for International Development; if there were independent assessors; what the results of the survey were; if she will place a full report in the Library; and what contraceptive and abortion facilities were made available to women who took part in the survey. [36246]

Clare Short: My Department engaged John Snow International (UK)'s Centre for Sexual and Reproductive Health to undertake a review of literature on maternal health in Russia and the former Soviet Union from April 2000 to June 2001. The purpose of the project was to identify, review and summarise information that would form a basis for a future plan of action on maternal and reproductive health in the region. The reviewers made a number of recommendations on the development of Russian evidence-based guidelines on reproductive health. A copy of the project's final report will be placed in the Library of the House. The project did not assess reproductive health facilities in Russia or survey users of such facilities.

Ministerial Boxes

Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development by what means ministerial boxes are conveyed from private offices in her Department to (a) herself and (b) her fellow Ministers; how frequently and at what expense private courier firms are employed for such a task; and which courier firms have been used for such duties. [36278]

Clare Short: The ministerial boxes for the Secretary of State and the Under-Secretary of State are conveyed using the Government Car Service, Royal Mail and trains as required. Private courier firms are not used.

Iran

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will make a statement on her Department's work in Iran. [36129]

Clare Short: We do not have a development assistance programme with the Government of Iran. However, we are providing humanitarian assistance for Iraqi refugees in Southern Iran, which to date has amounted to £1.45 million. This is being channelled through an international NGO, The AMAR International Charitable Foundation.

We are also providing support through the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) to education and

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health services for Afghan refugees in urban areas of Iran, and to the World Food Programme for feeding programmes in Afghan refugee camps. Our assistance to date has totalled almost £1.5 million.

Refugee Camps

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment she has made of the conditions in (a) Jalozai and (b) Shalman refugee camps; and what action her Department is taking to improve conditions in these camps. [36127]

Clare Short: UNHCR and the Government of Pakistan recently completed the voluntary relocation of all 45,000 residents of Jalozai refugee camp to five new sites in Pakistan, which had been purpose built to offer better conditions. Officials from my Department visited one of these camps, Shalman, last week and reported it to be well run, with good security and a considerable improvement on conditions at Jalozai.

We have provided £3 million to UNHCR for its programme in response to the Afghan crisis, this has included a site planning specialist and other practical as well as financial support.

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment she has made of the number of rape incidents in refugee camps in (a) Afghanistan and (b) Pakistan. [36126]

Clare Short: We are not aware of any quantitative assessment by humanitarian agencies of the number of rape incidents in IDP camps in Afghanistan nor refugee camps in Pakistan.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has established guidelines on the Protection of Refugee Women (details of which can found at www.unhcr.ch) of which we are fully supportive. We have provided £3 million to UNHCR for its regional programme for humanitarian assistance for Afghans. We are also supporting other agencies including the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and international non-governmental organisations who manage IDP camps in Afghanistan using similar guidelines for minimum standards in humanitarian protection and care.

Development Assistance

Miss Widdecombe: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment she had made of the Government's progress towards the target of 0.7 per cent. of GNP for development assistance; and if she will make a statement. [36089]

Clare Short: The UK has increased official development assistance (ODA) by a third in real terms since 1997. In 2000 net official development assistance from the UK to developing countries was £2.974 million which represented 0.32 per cent. of gross national income (GNI)—up from 0.26 per cent. in 1997. This made us the fourth largest bilateral donor in volume terms. We have pledged to raise ODA as a percentage of gross national income (GNI) to 0.33 per cent. by 2003–04.

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Our position after 2003–04 is under discussion with the Chancellor as part of the current public spending round and will not be determined before June. We are committed to making substantial further progress towards the UN 0.7 per cent. target.

Sudan

Ms Drown: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development whether the Government supports the resumption of EU aid to Sudan; and whether it supports attaching to this aid clear benchmarks in the EU-Sudan dialogue. [36419]

Clare Short: We support the EC making preparations for the resumption of aid to Sudan so that aid can be disbursed when the time is right. But it would be premature for the EC to begin disbursing assistance, other than that which is intended to meet urgent humanitarian need, before there are substantial moves towards peace.

Uganda and Rwanda (Extradition)

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will make a statement on her Department's policy on a bilateral extradition treaty between Uganda and Rwanda. [36567]

Clare Short: We have been working hard to reduce tension between Rwanda and Uganda. I met Presidents Museveni and Kagame again last week to review the progress on the Memorandum of Understanding signed between them in November. The MoU covered the need for an extradition treaty on which they are now working. The UK stands ready to offer advice on this if it is needed.


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