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Northern Africa

John Barrett: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment she has made of the potential for political conflict arising from a shortage of water in northern Africa; and if she will make a statement. [70492]

Clare Short: My Department is supporting international partnerships advocating integrated water resource management, and is sponsoring research projects looking at ways in which management of transboundary waters can lead to reduced tensions.

The ten countries in the Nile basin recognise the need to work together to manage Nile waters for poverty alleviation, resource protection, and mutually beneficial gains. Working with the World Bank, they have set up the Nile Basin Initiative to pursue the sustainable development and management of the Nile waters. The UK fully supports these efforts.

DFID is providing some funds for the Eastern Nile Technical Regional Office (ENTRO) in Addis Ababa, and plans to support two projects in the Shared Vision Programme, designed to build confidence and the capacity of Nile countries to work effectively together on Nile management.

Uganda

Dr. Tonge: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what aid is being given to the people of Northern Uganda affected by the civil war between the Ugandan Government and the Lord's Resistance Army. [71369]

Clare Short: Since 2000, DFID has committed almost £2m for conflict resolution programmes in the area. In addition, as an initial short-term response to the recent escalation in insecurity, DFID are providing humanitarian supplies for displaced persons through UNICEF, and supporting a programme for child welfare.

Malawi

Mr. Wood: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what was the total monetary value of the aid given by the British Government to Malawi in the last financial year; and if she will list the three most important items of this aid. [70763]

Clare Short: Provisional figures indicate that the government provided £48 million to Malawi in the financial year 2001–02. This included £12.5 million in direct budget support. The three most important expenditures by value are in health, education and rural livelihoods sectors.

Environmental Know How Fund

Mr. Breed: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, pursuant to her answer to the hon. Member for Gordon (Malcolm Bruce), of 10 July 2002, Official Report, column 959W, what recommendations were published for, and what assessment she has made of, her Department's involvement in the Environment Poverty Workshop in Albania during 2001–02. [71250]

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Clare Short: The purpose of the Government of Albania, DFID and World Bank Poverty and Environment Workshop was to sensitise and raise awareness among a broad stakeholder group of the issues and links surrounding effective environmental management, poverty reduction and economic growth in Albania. This was done in the context of Albania's preparation of a Poverty Reduction Strategy paper. The group agreed several recommendations which have not been published but which were taken into account in the preparation of the Poverty Reduction Strategy. A copy is in the Libraries of the House.

As a result of my Department's involvement in the Workshop, a technical assistance programme has been developed with the Government of Albania, focused on institutionally developing and reforming the Ministry of Environment (formerly the National Environment Agency).

Mr. Breed: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, pursuant to her answer to the hon. Member for Gordon (Malcolm Bruce), of 10 July 2002, Official Report, column 959W, which United Kingdom companies were involved with her Department's work in the Strengthening Partnerships for Municipal Sustainable Development project in Romania during 2001–02. [71249]

Clare Short: WS Aktkins International Limited.

Mr. Breed: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, pursuant to her answer to the hon. Member for Gordon (Malcolm Bruce), of 10 July 2002, Official Report, column 959W, if she will outline the (a) aims, (b) methodology and (c) outcomes of the Rural Livelihood Project. [71251]

Clare Short: 1. The main aim of the Rural Partnerships Programme in the Baltics is to enhance the capacity of local communities to improve rural livelihoods on a sustainable basis.

2. The methodology adopted by the project is centred on the use of participatory approaches for communities to assess their problems and needs, and plan and implement solutions and mechanisms for fuller representation through all levels of government. The project provides a range of experts and practitioners of community development and participatory processes, local government, regional development and EU who are transferring knowledge and skills through a number of different ways eg workshops, training, study tours, focus groups and mentoring.

3. The project is working towards achieving six outcomes:
(i) Area based strategies for tackling rural poverty and social exclusion.
(ii) Increased capacity within municipalities in applying participatory approaches and in accessing EU funds.
(iii) Community based projects developed and implemented through partnerships between community groups, NGOs, municipalities and the private sector.
(iv) Enhanced local skill base to manage and influence the rural development agenda.
(v) Improved capacity of rural business support/employment services as effective partners in the local development process.
(vi) National and Regional policy agenda and framework embrace inclusive area based partnership approaches to rural development.

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Mr. Breed: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, pursuant to her answer to the hon. Member for Gordon (Malcolm Bruce), of 10 July 2002, Official Report, column 959W, which United Kingdom companies have been involved with her Department's work in the Capacity Building on the Public Private Partnership project in Romania during 2001–02. [71248]

Clare Short: Mott MacDonald Limited.

Mr. Breed: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, pursuant to her answer to the hon. Member for Gordon (Malcolm Bruce), of 10 July 2002, Official Report, column 959W, (a) what assessment she has made and (b) what recommendations her Department has made of the Rural Livelihood Project in (i) the Baltic states and (ii) Central and Eastern Europe in 2001–02; and if she will make a statement. [71246]

Clare Short: The Baltics Rural Partnerships Programme was formally reviewed in October 2001 and has been monitored on a regular basis since then. It is an institutional building project focused at local and national levels with communities, government, NGOs and Civil Society to enhance the capacity of local communities to improve rural livelihoods. The project is assisting the authorities in the three Baltic countries to change the way regional planning is implemented in line with good EU practice by the introduction of a more participative and bottom-up approach to decision making processes.

DFID assessments have shown that the project is providing value for money in terms of its impact on (i) the progress being made in building local capacity and networks and (ii) links being made into the national policy debate to inform regional policy in preparation for accession to the EU and future effective use of structural funds. Recommendations to the Baltic authorities are made through on-going dialogue between the relevant authorities and institutions in the Baltics and project managers.

The regional Central and Eastern Europe project consisted of a study on the appropriateness of the rural livelihoods approach in transition economies. I will place a copy in the Libraries of the House.

Afghanistan

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assistance her Department provides to internally displaced people in Afghanistan. [71141]

Clare Short: Internally Displaced People (IDPs), are targeted by UN agencies, the Red Cross Movement and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) for the urgent provision of humanitarian assistance. The Afghan Transitional Administration and the international community are working to ensure the reintegration of uprooted Afghans — both IDPs and refugees — who wish to return home. Programmes coordinated by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) are underway to facilitate return, build the capacity of communities to absorb returning families, and integrate short-term programmes with longer-term strategies to ensure sustainable reintegration of returnees. Since

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September 2001, my Department has contributed £5 million to UNHCR and £4.6 million to IOM for their programmes in the region.

Pacific Rim Plantation

Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what representations her Department has received regarding (a) erosion and (b) soil degradation resulting from the Pacific Rim Plantation. [69040]

Clare Short: In 2000 my Department received representations from Down to Earth and a number of Indonesian NGOs about possible deforestation/land issues at two palm oil plantations in which CDC had invested in Indonesia. In 2001 representations were received from Friends of the Earth concerning deforestation issues in Papua New Guinea. I am content that CDC looked into the allegations fully.

Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what representations her Department has received regarding the Pacific Rim Plantations environmental effect on Queen Alexandra's Birdwing butterfly habitat. [69039]

Clare Short: In 2001 my Department received representations by Friends of the Earth in relation to conservation of the Queen Alexandra's Birdwing Butterfly. The butterfly's habitat is in a province of Papua New Guinea where CDC has invested in the establishment of new oil palm plantations.


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