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Food Strategies

Tony Baldry: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development whether an agreed strategy has been reached by OECD countries, the World Food Programme and NGOs, both international and local, on the food strategies affecting southern Africa which take into account the region's political and economic dynamics. [61082]

Clare Short: Agreement was reached at a meeting in Johannesburg on 6–7 June on a series of short-term measures to improve availability of food in Zimbabwe, Malawi, Zambia, Mozambique, Lesotho and Swaziland in the period to the next harvest, including commercial food imports, food aid, winter cropping and inputs for the next main planting season.

The meeting also dealt with the particular problems of Zimbabwe, which accounts for over half of the region's food aid needs. Donors wish to continue supporting the people of Zimbabwe who have been so badly let down by the policies of the ruling party. They are prepared to continue funding food distribution through non- governmental channels, but it is clear that this can only provide part of the solution and that Government must take steps to allow greater participation in the import effort and make the necessary adjustments in economic policy for this to be effective.

In the longer term food security must be addressed through country level poverty reduction strategies which we are supporting in four of the six countries considered at the meeting.

Tony Baldry: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what work her Department is undertaking to ensure that there is (a) accurate information on the country specific food shortages in southern Africa and (b) adequate co-ordination of the humanitarian operation at both national and regional levels in southern Africa. [61087]

Clare Short: We are working closely with the relevant UN organisations and NGOs operating in the region. The main source of information at present is the series of crop and food supply assessments carried out by the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation and the World Food Programme (available on www.fao.org). We are supporting continuing vulnerability and nutritional assessments to ensure information is available at sub-national level.

The World Food Programme has set up a unit in Johannesburg to manage the use of transport and regional supplies and to co-ordinate the international effort. We will provide financial and personnel support for the unit.

Tony Baldry: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what resources her Department will allocate to combat the food shortages in Southern Africa; and what time scale these resources will be intended to cover. [61088]

Clare Short: In addition to the £13 million already allocated to direct support for food import and distribution in Malawi and Zimbabwe, we have recently committed £45 million for further support through the World Food

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Programme and NGOs for food distribution and inputs for the next planting season in Zimbabwe, Malawi, Zambia, Mozambique, Lesotho and Swaziland. This will be spent up to March 2003; the amount will be reviewed in the light of emerging needs and responses from others.

We have also provided £2.4 million for humanitarian aid in Angola this year.

Water

Mr. Wray: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what discussions she has had since January 2001 with UN and EU representatives regarding the global clean water supply. [61190]

Clare Short: I have had no direct discussions on this matter with UN and EU representatives since January 2001. However, I have worked on this issue with my officials who are in regular contact on water supply, sanitation and water resources issues with counterparts in EU member states, the EC and relevant UN organisations.

Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will make a statement on plans to liberalise water services. [61933]

Clare Short: 1.1 billion people lack access to safe and affordable water supply and 2.4 billion lack access to sanitation. In developing countries poor people often pay far more than the better off for their water. We are committed to improving access to safe and affordable water supply and sanitation services. Partnerships involving the public and private sectors and civil society will be essential to achieve this. Our focus is to support the structuring of these partnerships in a way that responds to the needs of, and ensures benefits for, poor people through pro-poor contracts, good regulatory frameworks, and appropriate tariff structures.

Mr. Wray: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps the Government have taken since 1997 to increase access to clean water in the Third World; and if she will make a statement. [61189]

Clare Short: My Department is committed to the Millennium Development Goal of halving, by 2015, the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water, and to a complementary target for access to improved sanitation.

DFID has an extensive programme of engagement in water supply, sanitation and water resources management through our bilateral support to developing countries. In 2000–01 DFID spent £90.6 million on improving access to water services, an increase of 7 per cent. on the previous year. At an international level we are actively engaged in encouraging policies and practices that will ensure that poor people benefit from improved access to water and sanitation services. DFID's priorities are set out in our strategy paper "Addressing the Water Crisis—Healthier and More Productive Lives for Poor People", which is available in the Library of the House.

Entertainment Costs

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what the cost was of the Department's 2001 staff Christmas Party; and how many people attended. [61654]

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Clare Short: DFID did not hold a departmental staff Christmas party in 2001.

Members of Parliament (Personal Data)

Mr. Forth: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what information is held by her Department on each hon. Member in relation to (a) personal relationships, both current and past, (b) financial status and dealings, (c) connections with companies and interest groups, (d) connections with Governments and (e) published works; and what was held in January 2002. [61824]

Clare Short: With the exception of those details available publicly in DOD's Parliamentary Companion, none.

Development Council

Mr. Foulkes: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what the outcome of the Development Council held on 30 May was; and if she will make a statement. [62896]

Clare Short: At its meeting on 30 May, the Development Council, by consensus:


There were also informal discussions of recent developments in Afghanistan and Sudan.

Pakistan

Dr. Naysmith: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what the Government's policy is on the World bank loan to Pakistan agreed on 11 June. [62697]

Clare Short: The World bank board has voted in favour of the Second Structural Adjustment Credit ($500 million) to Pakistan. The loan is part of the international package of assistance to Pakistan's Interim Poverty Reduction Strategy, and supports reform measures that have already been taken. The UK made clear at the board meeting that we strongly support the Pakistan reform agenda but we expressed concerns about the risks posed by the threat of war, and the low levels of social and poverty-related expenditures.

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CULTURE, MEDIA AND SPORT

Queen's Jubilee Medal

Mr. Gray: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if she will estimate the cost of awarding the Queen's Jubilee Medal to (a) Yeomen of the Queen's Bodyguard, (b) Gentlemen at Arms and (c) the Queen's Bodyguard for Scotland, The Royal Company of Archers. [59655]

Tessa Jowell [holding answer 10 June 2002]: The medal is being issued to serving members of the armed forces, the Royal Fleet Auxiliary and the emergency services who completed five years or more reckonable service on 6 February 2002. The holders of the George Cross and Victoria Cross are also receiving the medal. The estimated cost is £7.8 million. The Yeoman of the Queen's Body Guard; Gentleman at Arms; and the Queen's Bodyguard for Scotland, The Royal Company of Archers are not eligible to receive the medal because they are not serving members of the armed forces or emergency services.


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