|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
4 Nov 2002 : Column 38Wcontinued
Mr. Gareth Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent discussions she has had with the Norwegian and Sri Lankan Governments about the peace process in Sri Lanka; and if she will make a statement. 
Clare Short : I met with Prime Minister Wickremasinghe on 28 May 2002. I have also met with Minister for Economic Reform, Milinda Moragoda, twice this year, most recently when he visited the UK in September. Minister Moragoda is a key member of the Government of Sri Lanka negotiating team at the peace talks. My officials are in regular contact with staff of the Norwegian Embassy in Colombo.
Mr. Gareth Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what action she is taking to provide support for (a) de-mining and (b) the resettlement of displaced people in Sri Lanka. 
Clare Short: My Department is providing #2.6 million to a joint Government of Sri Lanka and UN programme to support the resettlement of returning internally displaced persons (IDPs). This covers de-mining, immediate assistance to help restart livelihoods, shelter and provision of education services. In addition, #6.8 million has been provided for long-term OXFAM and SCF programmes which include support for IDPs. Further assistance will be considered in the light of needs assessments currently under way.
Mr. Simon Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what support she is providing for projects to tackle poverty in southern Sri Lanka; and if she will make a statement. 
Clare Short: The Government of Sri Lanka intends to ensure that communities in southern Sri Lanka benefit from the peace process, as well as those in the war-torn north and east. My Department already has long term programmes which address the needs of poor people throughout the island of Sri Lanka. These include national programmes to strengthen the quality of, and access to, primary schooling. In addition DFID is financing Oxfam's work with poor people across the country, including the south. My Department will continue to encourage bilateral and multilateral development organisations to ensure that future international assistance responds to the needs of poor people throughout the country.
Dr. Jenny Tonge: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, pursuant to her answer of 15 October 2002 to the hon. Member for Banbury (Tony Baldry), Official Report, column 652W, what discussions the Government had with the Governments of (a) Angola, (b) Nigeria and (c) Sudan regarding becoming partners in the Transparency Initiative. 
Clare Short: We approached several other Governments to seek their support for the initiative on transparency of payments for the extractives industry in the run up to, and during, the recent World Summit for Sustainable Development. Like many of the Governments the UK approached at the time, the
4 Nov 2002 : Column 39W
Nigerians were interested in the proposal but needed further internal consultation before they could take a firm position. I understand these to be still ongoing. We have not yet approached Sudan or Angola.
Norman Lamb: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development whether those organisations undertaking the clearance of unexploded bomblets following the use of cluster bombs in Afghanistan have the financial and technical resources necessary to maintain current clearance rates. 
Clare Short: DFID's demining adviser has just returned from leading a mission to Afghanistan. The purpose was to analyse the effectiveness of the United Nations Mine Action Programme for Afghanistan (MAPA), and the Mine Action Centre for Afghanistan (MACA) which is responsible for overall planning and co-ordination. I await the results of this evaluation. However on my recent visit to Afghanistan it was frequently suggested that demining was being organised in an exemplary fashion.
Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent discussions she has had with counterparts in other nations who have signed the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. 
Clare Short: I discuss child rights and development regularly with partners. Discussions focus on the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals to which the UK Government are committed. In particular the goals of achieving primary education for all, promoting gender equality and improving child survival are key to meeting the goal of halving absolute poverty by 2015. The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child forms one cornerstone for the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals and the UN General Assembly's Special Session on Children in May 2002, to which my Department contributed, committed governments to clear action and objectives for children and young people.
Dr. Tonge: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment she has made of the impact fighting in the Ivory Coast is having on the World Food Programme's activities in the Western Sahel region. 
Clare Short [holding answer 30 October 2002]: We have not done an independent assessment on the effect the conflict on Côte d'lvoire is having on World Food Programme (WFP) activities in the Western Sahel Region of Africa. The UN held an Emergency Regional Contingency Planning meeting in Accra from 1718 October to discuss the situation and the likely humanitarian needs in Côte d'lvoire and neighbouring countries. We are awaiting their assessment and are continuing to monitor the situation.
4 Nov 2002 : Column 40W
Dr. Tonge: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what the (a) estimated number of people reliant on food aid and (b) estimated amount of food aid required by the World Food Programme is over the next six months for (i) Mauritania, (ii) Mali, (iii) Senegal, (iv) Eritrea and (v) Ethiopia. 
Llew Smith: To ask the Prime Minister what matters in respect of reform of the Common Agricultural Policy and the United Kingdom rebate were discussed with President Chirac of France at the European Summit in Brussels on 25th October. 
The Prime Minister : I refer my hon. Friend to the statement I gave in the House on Monday 28 October and the answer I gave my hon. Friend the Member for Cannock Chase (Tony Wright) in the House on Wednesday 30 October, Official Report, column 865.
Norman Lamb: To ask the Prime Minister (1) what guarantees he has obtained from his Indian counterpart in the course of recent discussions that BAe Systems Hawk aircraft will, if purchased by India, only be used for training purposes; 
4 Nov 2002 : Column 41W
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|