§ Jeremy Corbyn
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what studies have been made of cancer rates in Iraq(a) from 1991 to 2002 and (b) since the end of hostilities on 1 May 2003. 
§ Hilary Benn
DFID is not aware of any studies of cancer rates carried out by the Iraqi Ministry of Health, Coalition Provisional Authority or other bodies. The ability accurately to measure localised increases in cancer rates—especially if there is cancer due to radiation, which can take years to develop—requires a well-developed national disease surveillance system, which Iraq does not currently have. The World Health Organisation plans to carry out a study to investigate the effects of the use of depleted uranium in ordnance used by military forces, which some individuals have claimed has caused an increase in cancer rates in Iraq, using that country as a key focus. This study will be subject to funding and to an improvement in the security situation.
§ Hilary Benn
We have spent(a) £2.1 million on secondments, (b) £6.3 million on consultants and (c) £11.4 million on security measures in Iraq to date. In addition, we have recently contributed £3.6 million to UNSECOORD for security measures for UN operations in Iraq.
DFID Bilateral Programme: Percentage To Low Income Countries1 1997–98 1998–99 1999–2000 2000–01 2001–02 2002–03 Country Specific: All Recipient Countries Low Income Countries 65 73 67 76 78 80 Country Specific: All Recipient Countries(excluding Humanitarian Assistance Low Income Countries 67 72 75 78 78 80 Country Specific: Developing Countries only2 Low Income Countries 72 78 71 79 82 84 1 Countries are classified using 1998 GNI per capita estimates used by the DAC for aid flows up to 2002. This table covers only bilateral aid that can be attributed to individual countries. Low Income Countries are those with a GNI per capita in 1998 below $760. 2 This includes all countries defined as developing by DAC, i.e. those on Part I of the DAC list of recipient countries.
§ Hilary Benn
DFID's approach is to encourage the involvement and employment of Iraqis as much as possible in all the work we fund. For some projects, this has included direct employment of Iraqi staff and sub-contracting of Iraqi firms. By way of example, the vast majority of the construction work DFID has funded in southern Iraq has been sub-contracted to local firms. One of the criteria we have set for our £20 million Essential Infrastructure Programme has been to give priority to projects that create the most employment. We are also considering funding for direct employment generation schemes in southern Iraq.