HC Deb 03 June 1998 vol 313 cc235-6W
26. Mr. White

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will make a statement on what aid is being given to Indonesia(a) by her Department and (b) by non-governmental organisations to alleviate the current economic crisis. [42523]

Clare Short

The most important step is implementation of political and economic reforms in Indonesia. This is critical if the reduction of poverty in recent years is not to be reversed and if benefits are to be more widely shared. The UK supports the IMF economic reform programme and is also contributing £5 million to the Asia Europe Meeting (ASEM) Trust Fund which will underpin the efforts of Asian Governments, including Indonesia, to combat the social effects of the crisis and reform their financial sectors. We have provided £375,000 of assistance to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to help with nutrition, hygiene and medical needs for the people of Irian Jaya; and continue to monitor the food situation more widely.

We are also providing support to trade union education. We are currently exploring urgently any additional measures, through civil society, which might bring effective help to the most vulnerable people suffering the effects of the crisis.

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