Friday 8 May 2009
The Government do not hold a record of withdrawn bus routes and so we are unable to say whether any routes have been withdrawn as a result of crime. These data will be available from the individual operator or, in some cases, the local transport authority.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Tunnicliffe on 23 April (WA 410-11), what movement and access restrictions have been removed or relaxed by the Israeli authorities in the West Bank following the British commitment of £243 million in aid and development funds and previous expenditure there. [HL3142]
The UN in its 2009 Appeal for the OPTs reports that despite the removal of some obstacles to movement and access during 2008, data indicate an ever-increasing number of Israeli checkpoints in the West Bank, causing further social and economic fragmentation. We continue to lobby the Government of Israel on this issue.
A Democratisation Steering Committee Mission consisting of representatives from the European Commission and the Government of Sweden held meetings with the three political parties and the National Electoral Commission in February 2009.
The Democratisation Steering Committee comprises all the donors to the Somaliland election process namely, the United Kingdom, the European Commission and the Governments of Denmark, Norway, Sweden and the USA.
During this visit, the mission passed on messages expressing disappointment in the way that the voter registration exercise had been conducted and encouraged the political parties and National Electoral Commission to come to a political consensus on agreeing the way forward on finalising the voter list, the distribution of polling stations and the election calendar. Talks are still ongoing between the political parties and the National Electoral Commission to agree a consensual way forward on these issues.
The Department for International Development (DfID) is providing financial and technical assistance to the Somaliland election process together with the European Commission and other donors.
This assistance is channelled through the international non-governmental organisation Interpeace. It is enabling the National Electoral Commission to clean up and finalise the voter registration list by eliminating duplicate and incomplete records through the use of both fingerprint and facial recognition technology.
The Department for Transport has commissioned research on the costs to society of crime committed on public transport in England. We will publish a summary of the research findings in due course.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have made representations to the Government of South Africa about the situation of 4,000 Zimbabwean refugees following the closure of the Musina refugee camp; and what help they have offered. [HL2620]
The UK Government have made no direct representations to the South African Government about the situation of Zimbabwean migrants following the closure of the Musina asylum reception centre on 2 March.
A number of international organisations are providing a range of assistance, including temporary shelter and food, protection services, health and legal referral, family reunification and other integration assistance.
The Department for International Development (DfID) is assisting vulnerable child migrants through our support (£930,000) to Save the Children (Save). Save has worked closely with government departments (Social Development, Home Office) at local and district level, and has advocated with national government to find ways of meeting the rights of vulnerable child migrants. This support will continue to November 2010.
On 3 April 2009 the Government of South Africa announced the introduction of a special dispensation permit for Zimbabweans entering South Africa. This will allow Zimbabweans to stay in South Africa for a period of six months; it will confer on them the right to schooling or education; to work; and to access basic healthcare. It is expected that this will lessen the pressures that large numbers of Zimbabwean migrants have created, such as in Musina, and will regularise economic migrants, who have previously sought to claim political asylum.