Central Africa: West Africa
Gregory Campbell (East Londonderry, DUP)
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps his Department is taking to assist charities and aid groups working in central and western Africa to eliminate hunger in the region.
Stephen O'Brien (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, International Development; Eddisbury, Conservative)
The UK Government works in a range of countries in central and western Africa. The coalition Government instituted a major review of all bilateral aid, following which our aid programmes have been re-focused on the countries in greatest need.
The current food crisis in the Sahel region of west Africa has left over 16 million men, women and children at risk of food shortages. The Government has allocated funds to support over 400,000 people through improved nutrition and community livelihoods support such as animal feed and animal vaccinations and cash and or in-kind transfers. This assistance is being provided through the World Food Programme as well as non-governmental organisations such as Save the Children, Oxfam and Action Against Hunger.
In addition to this short-term emergency response, the UK Government provides through the Programme Partnership Arrangements (PPA) strategic support to the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) which aims to increase access to and consumption of high quality foods among target groups. Our support will help GAIN deliver improved nutritional status to at least 60 million people globally.
The UK also supports the African Union’s Comprehensive African Agricultural Development Programme (CAADP) programme and its efforts to improve planning and increase spending on agriculture and food security to 10% of national budgets. This should increase agricultural productivity by at least 6% per year to meet the millennium development goal on hunger. Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso have all signed a CAADP agreement and are preparing agricultural investment plans.