HC Deb 05 December 1974 vol 882 cc623-4W
Mr. James Johnson

asked the Minister of Overseas Development if she proposes to offer aid to the Somalia Republic, now suffering national disaster following drought; and if she will make a statement.

Mrs. Hart

I am aware that drought conditions exist in the centre of Somalia, and that these are worsened by nomadic movements. UNDRO estimated last month that relief would be needed for about 50,000 persons. The Somali authorities have themselves requested help from Arab League countries, the EEC and the World Food programme and, besides declaring a state of emergency, have allocated about £10 million for measures to help with the drought, some of them longer-term. The World Food Programme, UNICEF, the FAO and the EEC, all bodies to which Britain is a contributor, are providing assistance, mainly in the form of food, but also covering medical supplies and animal vaccines. The EEC allocation of grain could be up to 12,000 tons. Since we are contributing to relief in this way, I have no plans for separate bilateral action.