HL Deb 29 July 1988 vol 500 c567WA
Lord Hylton

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What action they are taking in conjunction with other authorities to cope with famine now threatening 1.5 million people in Eritrea and up to 8 million in North Vietnam.

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Glenarthur)

In Ethiopia as a whole, Britain has committed more than £47 million in relief assistance since the beginning of 1987, including our share of the cost of European Community assistance. Other donors have also responded generously and sufficient food is available to meet projected requirements for 1988. However, in the worst affected regions of Eritrea and Tigray distribution of food has been seriously hampered by continuing civil conflict. Britain, together with its European Community partners and other donors, is doing all it can to encourage all parties to seek a peaceful resolution of political differences and to permit relief efforts to proceed unhindered.

In Vietnam the European Community is supplying 10,000 tonnes of rice through the World Food Programme in response to the appeal launched by the WFP in May: the United Kingdom share of the cost of this action is about £300,000.