|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
9 Dec 2002 : Column 61Wcontinued
John Barrett: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development pursuant to her answer of 26 November 2002, Official Report, columns 20102W, on Eritrea, what meetings have been fixed with the Government of Eritrea to discuss bilateral support for its poverty reduction strategy. 
John Barrett: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment she has made of the impact which Ethiopia's debt service payments are having on the ability of the Ethiopian Government to combat poverty. 
Clare Short: Ethiopia qualified for interim debt relief under the Highly Indebted Poor Countries Initiative (HIPC) at Decision Point (DP) in November 2001. Irrevocable relief will be provided at HIPC Completion Point, which is expected within the next two years. Savings resulting from HIPC assistance will amount to around US$ 96 million per year on average until 2021. These resources will be freed up for the Ethiopian Government to use for poverty reduction. Poverty-targeted public expenditure increased by over 1 per cent. of GDP in the current year as a result of HIPC relief.
Mr. Key: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will make a statement on how the focus on health and sustainable livelihoods in the bilateral donor programme in Malawi relates to her integrated approach to water supply, sanitation and hygiene designed to improve health and combat poverty. 
Clare Short: Our substantial health and sustainable livelihoods programmes in Malawi do not directly focus on water supply, sanitation and hygiene as other bilateral and multilateral donor partners are leading in these areas.
John Barrett: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what evidence has been collated by her Department regarding manipulation of food distribution by the Malawian Government for political gain. 
9 Dec 2002 : Column 62W
handled efficiently by an NGO consortium. We are working with other donors and NGOs to monitor the distribution processes and sales of subsidised commercial maize imported by the Government. To date we have no evidence of political interference.
Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will make a statement on US proposals globally to abolish tariffs on manufactured goods; and what the level of US tariffs is for EU goods. 
We welcome the US proposal to reduce non-agricultural tariffs as an imaginative contribution to the Doha development round and will press for a positive EU response. It will be important to ensure that the Doha round contributes significantly to the position of developing countries in the world trading system. Current US tariff rates are available from the US International Trade Commission website at www.usitc.gov/taffairs.htm
Clare Short: DFID is working closely with the Government of Pakistan and other donors to improve school quality and increase opportunities for girls to go to school. At the national level, DFID is supporting improvements to information systems so as to better monitor and evaluate girls' education. In the North West Frontier Province and Azad Jammu and Kashmir, DFID is supporting the development of community schools, which have been shown to be more effective in attracting girls to school. With DFID support, girls' enrolment in the Northern Areas has increased by 73 per cent. since 199798. Despite some progress overall, the challenges facing Pakistan remain great.
John Barrett : To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment she has made of the potential danger arising from flooding of the River Congo during the coming rainy season. 
Clare Short : December is the month when the level of the river is usually at its highest level. On 27 November the Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo warned that the level of the Congo river this year is rising at a rate, and to an extent, that suggests flooding is possible. In 1999, the last time the Congo river flooded at Kinshasa, as many as 80,000 people were displaced.
9 Dec 2002 : Column 63W
Clare Short: There is progress with repatriation of Rwandan refugees in Tanzania who volunteer. UNHCR provides assistance to those who register. It is estimated that over 4,500 returned to Rwanda in 2001 and there will be similar number this year. This has exceeded the number of arrivals.
John Barrett: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assistance she is giving to ensure adequate training of police officers in human rights issues in Tanzania; and if she will make a statement. 
Clare Short: DFID provides budgetary support to the Government of Tanzania's Poverty Reduction Strategy which this year increased budgetary resources to the police, prisons and the judiciary. UNDP is the lead agency in the field of Human Rights and is working directly with the Government of Tanzania to improve standards across a range of institutions, including the police service.
Huw Irranca-Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many VAT registrations per 10,000 resident population there were in each local authority in England and Wales in (a) 2002, (b) 1997, (c) 1992 and (d) 1987. 
Nigel Griffiths: VAT registrations before 1994 were on a different set of administrative boundaries. The latest VAT registration data available is for 2001. I have placed details of the VAT Registration rate per 10,000 Resident adults (16+) in the Libraries of the House.
Dr. Tonge: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will list the UK companies involved in the consortium applying for an Export Credit Guarantee for the (a) Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline and the (b) Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum gas pipeline. 
(a) The sponsors of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) Company are seeking ECGD support for the supply of UK goods and services and for UK investments related to the project. BP plc is the only UK company in the sponsor group.
9 Dec 2002 : Column 64W
Malcolm Bruce : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what evaluation she has made of the initiative between British Telecom and Highlands and Islands Enterprise to extend broadband coverage; and how she intends promoting similar initiatives to other remote and rural areas within the UK. 
Mr. Timms: Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) are involved in the Exchange Activate trial being run by BT across the UK, including at two exchanges near Inverness. This is due to run until next spring, so no evaluation has been carried out as yet. If the initiative is successful, HIE will be keen to see this approach applied more widely in the area.
A wider range of initiatives is also underway in the Highlands and Islands to increase broadband access. These include a pilot of aggregated public sector procurement and projects under the UK Broadband Fund, such as a major wireless trial in the Western Isles, a powerline carrier trial in Campbeltown, and a demand stimulation scheme based on road shows and demonstration centres.
The UK Broadband Task Force, established in November, will find and disseminate exemplars of best practice around the country, including to rural and remote areas and by so doing stimulate the further roll out of broadband.
Mr. Wyatt: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry pursuant to her answer of 26 November 2002, Official Report, column 228W, on priority areas how many (a) hospitals, (b) GP surgeries, (c) schools, (d) police stations, (e) local authority agencies and (f) other public sector places will SEEDA be upgrading to broadband in the Sittingbourne and Sheppey constituency; and how much of the SEEDA Broadband fund (i) has been and (ii) will be spent in Sittingbourne and Sheppey. 
Mr. Timms [holding answer 3 December 2002]: SEEDA does not maintain data at this level. SEEDA's broadband fund has been allocated to projects that provide benefits to the region and there is no detailed breakdown of the amount of funding that has been spent specifically in Sittingbourne and Sheppey.
Malcolm Bruce : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assistance her Department has made available to UK businesses to enable them to access broadband via satellite technology. 
Mr. Timms: The Department of Trade and Industry has made available #30 million to the RDAs and Devolved Administrations for pilot projects to extend broadband access. Several of the recipients have used this fund to enable small businesses to access broadband via satellite technology. For example, the South West
9 Dec 2002 : Column 65W
Development Agency, East Midlands, Development Agency, East of England Development Agency and Advantage West Midlands are collaborating in the Remote Area Broadband Inclusion Trials (RABIT) programme to trial alternative broadband Internet access to small businesses in rural areas using wireless and satellite. The scheme has been operating since September 2002. Some #700 is made available to each company. By the beginning of December, 264 applications had been approved, of which 75 per cent. to 80 per cent. involve satellite trials. About 1,800 to 2,000 companies are expected to participate in the programme to December 2003.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|