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Volume 204: debated on Friday 21 February 1992

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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what additional staff have been recruited to deal with aid to the Commonwealth of Independent States by (a) the Overseas Development Administration and (b) the EC.

(a) At present we have 34 staff from the Overseas Development Administration dealing with aid to the Commonwealth of Indpependent States and other eastern European countries. Precise disaggregation would not be realistic. Individuals have not been recruited specifically for these positions, but additional staff have been recruited generally to the ODA to permit the expansion in our activities.

(b) An additional 40 mecu has now been agreed to reinforce the Commission's external activities. We understand that its intention is to establish at least 140 now posts in DGI and convert a further 150 from expert to statutory posts. Many of these additional posts will support the Community aid programmes in the Commonwealth of Independent States.