HL Deb 11 November 1998 vol 594 cc93-4WA
Viscount Montgomery of Alamein

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they are planning any relief assistance following the devastation caused by Hurricane Mitch in Central America; and, if so, what form this will take. [HL3753]

Baroness Amos

We are responding to the immediate relief needs of the region as part of the international relief effort. This includes a contribution of £200,000 to the Red Cross Regional Appeal, approximately £60,000 to the Pan American Health Organisation for basic health care needs and £94,525 to the Catholic Fund for Overseas Development (CAFOD) for food and household items for Honduras. In Nicaragua, we have channelled £32,585 through the non-governmental organisation CARE for the provision of safe water, food and clothes. We are also sending medical supplies to E1 Salvador to meet the needs of 20,000 people for three months. In addition, HMS "Sheffield" provided immediate disaster assistance to Honduras and RFA "Sir Tristram" and HMS "Ocean" are providing further support. We have also provided a UK expert to the United Nations assessment and co-ordination teams working in the region.

We continue to monitor the situation closely through our embassies and the United Nations, and we are in close contact with British non-governmental organisations with established long-term programmes in the region, about support to their relief activities.

We are reviewing our proposed development programme so that we are in a position to assist with the rehabilitation effort.