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20 Jan 2003 : Column 27W—continued

Job Sharing

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will make a statement on the extent of job sharing in her Department. [90872]

Clare Short: Our most recent figures show that 113 members of staff are working reduced hours. 18 of these are employed on official job-share contracts.

Job-sharing is one of a number of alternative and flexible working patterns that are available to staff. A flexi-time system is also available to all staff. DFID is strongly committed to providing a working environment which values and nurtures a diverse workforce and has identified diversity and the need for work/life balance as one of its five core values.

In support of this, we issued a booklet to all of our staff in 2002 which set out the various work patterns available within DFID, advice on how staff can access them and-for women-specific information about how they can plan their return to work after maternity leave.

The flexibility of the pattern is decided in conjunction with line managers to suit individual needs and the needs of the Department.

Anyone applying for a vacancy, either internally or externally, may do so on the basis of working in the job on a flexible working pattern although, in some instances, this is not possible owing to the nature of the work.


John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will make a statement on the Government's plans to assist the incoming Kenyan Government to tackle poverty and encourage economic regeneration. [90144]

Clare Short: I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave the hon. Member for Belfast, North (Mr. Dodds) earlier today.

Mr. Dodds: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development (1) what the Government's policy is towards assistance to Kenya as a result of the recent Kenyan elections; [90165]

Clare Short: The UK is providing substantial bilateral assistance to Kenya, as illustrated in the table. In addition we provide support through our contributions to multilateral agencies including the European Commission. Following successful elections on 27 December, my officials based in Nairobi have already had discussions with the new Government on its plans to tackle corruption, revive the economy and reduce poverty, and on how the international community,

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including the UK, can best help. I expect to visit Kenya very soon to have face to face discussions with President Kibaki and his team.

UK Bilateral assistance to Kenya£million

Malawi Flooding

John Barrett: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what estimate she has made of the (a) numbers affected and (b) volume of crops destroyed by recent flooding in Malawi; what impact flooding has had on the distribution of food aid in Malawi; and what steps she is taking to assist those affected by the flooding. [91164]

Clare Short: In Malawi the Humanitarian Working Group of the National Food Security Task Force is now assessing the overall extent and impact of the recent floods. My Department is working with partners in this working group to develop an appropriate response. Although the floods caused some temporary disruption to humanitarian distribution work, where necessary the WFP NGO consortium has successfully developed alternative transportation routes.

Natural Resources Institute

Jonathan Shaw: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development when her Department's solicitors will respond to the University of Greenwich regarding arrangements for a new underlease for the Natural Resources Institute buildings in Chatham Dockyard as set out in the university's letter of 24 April 2002; and if she will make a statement. [90429]

Clare Short: Neither my Department nor our solicitors have any record of receiving any such letter. The general issue of the lease on the premises at Chatham Dockyard has been the subject of long-term discussions. Our solicitors will be contacting those of the University of Greenwich shortly to arrange a meeting.

Official Travel

Mr. Chope: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development (1) what the total budget of (a) her Department and (b) its agencies is for official travel in 2002–03; [84932]

Clare Short [holding answer 3 December 2002]: My Department does not hold a central budget for official travelling.

Since 1999, the Government have published an annual list of all visits overseas undertaken by Cabinet Ministers costing £500 or more during each financial year. The Government have also published on an annual basis the cost of all Ministers' visits overseas. Details of travel undertaken during the period 1 April

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2001 to 31 March 2002 was published on 24 July 2002, Official Report, columns 1374–75W. The cost of Ministers' visits overseas for 2002–03 will be published as soon as possible after the end of the current financial year. Copies of the lists are available in the Libraries of the House.

All travel is undertaken fully in accordance with the rules set out in the Ministerial Code and Travel by Ministers, copies of which are available in the Libraries of the House.


Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what schemes her Department supports in Peru. [90571]

Clare Short: DfID's new draft Country Assistance Plan for Peru is currently being finalised after extensive consultation (the consultation draft is available on the DfID website). The overall objective of the Plan is to contribute to reducing poverty in Peru by 50 per cent. by 2015. We aim to do this by promoting the development of an inclusive society, which is responsive to the rights of the poor and excluded. The Plan focuses on three outcomes: promoting social inclusion, Government working for the poor and economic opportunities for the poor. To achieve these outcomes, we work closely with Peruvian organisations—both the Government and broader society—and the major multilateral development agencies, to improve the effectiveness of national policies, programmes and international assistance.

DfID has a £3.7 million programme in Peru for 2002–03. The UK also funds about 19 per cent. of the EC development programme, and is a 5 per cent. shareholder in the World bank and 1 per cent. shareholder in the IDB.

Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will make a statement on the objectives of the 'Improving Health of the Poor: A Rights Based Approach' programme in Peru. [90572]

Clare Short: The proposed 'Improving Health of the Poor: A Rights Based Approach' programme in Peru has been designed to promote poor and excluded peoples rights to access health care, strengthen the relationships between health service providers and Peruvian citizens and to facilitate greater responsiveness to the needs of the poor within the health sector. The project would support the work of the Ministry of Health, the Ombudsman's office and civil society and has a number of components. The objectives are to: (i) improve public health service policies and institutions to protect and promote the right to health of poor and excluded communities in Peru; (ii) facilitate, with citizens and health care providers, the implementation of participatory mechanisms for the planning, provision and evaluation of health services and (iii) promote the uptake of lessons learned in the programme by the multilateral development organisations working in Peru.

Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much aid is provided (a) to encourage and (b) to finance abortions in Peru; and if she will make a statement. [90573]

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Clare Short: None. My Department considers support for activities to improve the quality, safety and accessibility of abortion services where this is legal in the country concerned, and where it is available as a matter of individual choice. In all situations, as we have done in Peru between 1997 and 2002, DfID will consider support for measures to improve access to effective and high quality post-abortion care to deal with the complication of spontaneous or induced abortion.


Mr. Key: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what estimate her Department has made of the revenues of the Congo Desk of the Rwandan Patriotic Army and Rwanda's national budget; and what impact this has had on development aid to the Rwandan Government. [90412]

Clare Short: We have made no such assessment. The Rwandan national budget is regularly assessed by the IMF which has reported positively on improvements in the effectiveness and transparency of budget management by the Rwandan Government, and has confirmed it has found no evidence of significant off-budget receipts or expenditure. There is no evidence in the national budget of receipts from the Congo Desk of the RPA. Development aid remains vital to support efforts to eradicate poverty and establish long-term stability in Rwanda following the 1994 genocide. We will continue to support the Government in implementing their poverty reduction strategy within a framework of good governance and respect for human rights.

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