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Operation Waiting Time (Leicester)

Mr. Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the waiting time is for operations in Leicester. [60573]

Mr. Lammy: The table shows the waiting time for elective admission for patients in the area covered by the former Leicestershire health authority as at 31 March 2002.

Patients waiting for elective admission

Total patients waiting15,354
Patients waiting for admission by months waiting
Less than 39,111
Median length of wait (months)2.53



Dr. Tonge: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much assistance the UK Government provided for the Rwandan Government on a bilateral basis in (a) 2000–01 and (b) 2001–02. [61866]

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Clare Short: The UK Government provided the following bilateral assistance to the Government of Rwanda during 2000–01 and 2001–02:

2000–01—£32.8 million (of which £25.4 million was budgetary aid, and the remainder in project aid, technical co-operation and other grants);

2001–02—£26.9 million 1 (of which £18 million was budgetary aid).

Dr. Tonge: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what representations she has made to the Government of Rwanda regarding the presence of Rwandan soldiers in the Democratic Republic of Congo. [61868]

Clare Short: We are in regular contact with the Government of Rwanda on all aspects of its policies in the Great Lakes region, including the presence of its soldiers in the DRC. The international community has recognised, in numerous Security Council resolutions and in the Lusaka Peace Agreements, that Rwanda has legitimate security concerns that have led to its military presence in the DRC. We are working actively as part of the international community to work for full implementation of the Lusaka Peace agreement, which will ensure that legitimate security concerns are addressed so that Rwanda can safely withdraw its forces from the DRC at the earliest possible date.

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Third World

Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what discussions she is having to regulate the activities of international organisations with respect to the Third World; and if she will make a statement. [61934]

Clare Short: There are a large number of international organisations whose activities influence developing countries, these include the World Trade Organisation (WTO), World bank and regional development banks and the UN Agencies. The WTO exists as an organisation whose members can agree the trade rules that they consider to be mutually beneficial, with decisions made through consensus; the formal regulatory environment for the World bank and the regional development banks is established through their Articles of Agreement; UN agencies are regulated through their mandates. The executive boards of the multilateral development banks and the UN agencies provide day to day policy direction, oversight and control. In the Government's 2000 White Paper "Making Globalisation Work for the Poor" we are committed to build a stronger, more open and accountable international system, including to increase the capacity of poor countries to negotiate in the WTO, and I am continuing to have discussions with other stakeholders on how best to take this work forward.

Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps she is taking to encourage third world countries to protect (a) poorer farmers and (b) the environment in their own countries. [61932]

Clare Short: My Department is working with developing countries on poverty reduction strategies that will enable the poorest to lift themselves out of poverty. Three-quarters of the world's poorest people live in rural areas and depend significantly on agriculture. In many countries, therefore, this means attention to rural development and agriculture. Countries where we are already engaged in agricultural and rural reform processes include: Bangladesh, Cambodia, Ghana, India, Malawi, Mozambique, Nepal, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda. My Department has recently issued a consultation paper, "Better Livelihoods for Poor People: the Role of Agriculture". This focuses on the livelihoods of small and medium producers and proposes action within developing countries, particularly with regard to the policy and institutional environment that will create opportunities for the poor; at international level with regard to trade, standard setting and international agricultural research; and domestically with regard to the distortions caused by EU agricultural subsidies and trade barriers.

We are also encouraging countries to mainstream environment within their poverty reduction strategies, recognising that more effective environmental management can contribute to sustained poverty reduction. Action is proceeding in four main areas: improving governance; enhancing the assets of the poor; improving the quality of growth; and reforming international and developed country policies. This broad agenda shows that the issue of environmental protection cannot be looked at in isolation, and that many decisions affecting the environment are not taken by those directly responsible for environmental issues.

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Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what discussions she is having with EU Ministers about improving its third world aid budget and the delivery of aid to those countries; and if she will make a statement. [61936]

Clare Short: I am in regular contact with EU Development Ministers to discuss how to improve the effectiveness of EC development assistance. Most recently, we met during the EU Development Council on 30 May to discuss reform of EC development assistance as well as the EU position for the upcoming World Summit on Sustainable Development.

My Department is focusing its efforts on two broad objectives: improving the overall effectiveness of EC development assistance and increasing its poverty focus. We welcome the positive steps that have been taken to reform EC development assistance and are pressing the EC to pursue its reform efforts vigorously in order to implement the November 2000 EC Development Policy, which for the first time, makes poverty reduction the central objective of EC development programmes. We are working for agreement that a much greater share of EC aid should be allocated to low income countries where it will have the greatest impact on poverty reduction. In 2000, only 38 per cent. of EC aid was spent in low income countries compared to 70 per cent. in 1990.


Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development when she last met Government officials from Ethiopia to discuss the provision of development aid to that country; and if she will make a statement about the provision of development aid to Ethiopia. [61931]

Clare Short: I last met Prime Minister Meles in Gabarone in October 2001. A senior DFID delegation subsequently held development talks with the Ethiopian Government in Addis Ababa in February 2002. Following these talks we have continued the process of taking forward our development partnership with the Ethiopian Government, which will be informed by the Ethiopian Government's Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper, which we understand will be issued shortly.

Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much (a) emergency and (b) development aid the UK Government have provided to Ethiopia in each of the last 10 years for which figures are available. [61930]

Clare Short: Over the last 10 years my Department has provided the following bilateral development assistance to Ethiopia:

Bilateral aid to Ethiopia

of which:
DFID programmeHumanitarian assistance


Statistics on International Development 1991–92 to 2000–01

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Mr. Key: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will make a statement on the situation in southern Sudan. [62008]

Clare Short: In spite of renewed efforts to establish a lasting peace, fighting continues in many parts of southern Sudan. The humanitarian consequences for those affected by the conflict are devastating. The UK is supporting the latest round of IGAD peace talks in Nairobi this week through the DFID/FCO Sudan Unit and the UK Special Representative and with financial support to the IGAD Sudan secretariat. In addition to supporting the political process, we will continue to support the agencies and organisations in the field best placed to meet the humanitarian needs.

Mr. Key: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what (a) protocols and (b) treaties are in place to ensure access to southern Sudan by aid agencies for humanitarian assistance; and if she will make a statement. [62009]

Clare Short: Humanitarian access is based on a series of agreements dating from the 1988 Accords between the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) coalition partners and the Sudan Peoples Liberation Army (SPLA). Operation Lifeline Sudan (OLS), agreed between the United Nations (UN), the Government of Sudan (GoS) and the SPLA followed this in 1989. OLS was based on unsigned informal agreements between UN officials and the GoS. In 1992, the UN Department for Humanitarian Affairs negotiated a new agreement with GoS and SPLA on access routes for humanitarian assistance. In 1993 the OLS Ground Rules were implemented. The Intergovernmental Authority on Drought and Development (IGADD) achieved agreement in May 1994 on the principles for a negotiated end to the conflict (the Declaration of Principles—DoP). In addition to the DoP, an agreement on humanitarian access was also signed and ratified. The latter agreement remains the only signed access agreement between all the parties.

Mr. Key: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what flight bans are in place in the Sudan, in (a) Bahr el-Ghazal, (b) Eastern Equatoria and (c) Western Upper Nile; and what the impact is on access to humanitarian assistance. [62010]

Clare Short: Flight bans are in place in all three areas.

In (a) Bahr el-Ghazal, the total of denied locations is 38 out of 63 sought (25 granted). 17 locations are denied as the Government of Sudan (GoS) says they are insecure and therefore not safe, plus a further 21 locations as GoS cannot be sure where they are as WFP/UN will not give them the required coordinates.

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In (b) Eastern Equatoria, the total denied is five out of 15 sought (10 granted). Two locations are denied as GoS says they are not secure, plus three more denied as GoS have not been given coordinates.

In (c) Western Upper Nile (WUN), 13 locations are denied as GoS says they are not secure. 19 others are denied because no coordinates were provided and GoS says they cannot therefore verify the locations and give clearance. GoS has granted a further 45 clearances for WUN this week after representations were made by the United Nations: of these, 21 are new locations not requested by the UN.

Flight bans limit the access to humanitarian assistance and have a negative impact on the populations affected. We continue to work to improve the situation.

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