HC Deb 22 March 1993 vol 221 c608
42. Mr. Fabricant

To ask the Secretary of State Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement regarding the present level of British aid being sent to Somalia.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

Britain has pledged almost £43 million worth of emergency relief assistance for Somalia since January 1992, including its share of European Community aid.

Mr. Fabricant

Is my hon. Friend aware that the United Nations has stated that British aid is the most effective in the western world? Is he further aware that Britain has peculiar and special expertise in the sourcing and finding of fresh water supplies in villages in Africa? What are we doing in Somalia?

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

Britain is the third largest bilateral donor to the relief effort in Somalia: some £43 million has been pledged in the past 15 months. I would add that there is £5.5 million worth available immediately on the table for suitable non-governmental organisations and United Nations projects that may apply for it. The British Government have also given substantial money to the north of Somalia which includes, as my hon. Friend referred to it, rehabilitation of water supply projects.