UN Disaster Relief Office

Oral Answers to Questions — Overseas Development – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 3rd December 1984.

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Photo of Sir Sydney Chapman Sir Sydney Chapman , Chipping Barnet 12:00 am, 3rd December 1984

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he is satisfied with the role played by the United Nations disaster relief office.

Photo of Mr Timothy Raison Mr Timothy Raison , Aylesbury

I am satisfied that the United Nations disaster relief office, with support from the UN system, is effectively carrying out its responsibilities for the mobilisation and co-ordination of international emergency relief to disaster-stricken areas.

Photo of Sir Sydney Chapman Sir Sydney Chapman , Chipping Barnet

I am grateful to my right hon. Friend for that answer. Is he satisfied with the role of that United Nations agency in tackling the famine in Ethiopia? Will he sympathetically consider representations that may be made to the effect that that office should have its role and resources extended, and increased if necessary, to deal with other major catastrophes that may take place in future?

Photo of Mr Timothy Raison Mr Timothy Raison , Aylesbury

UNDRO is a monitoring, advisory and co-ordinating body with a small organisation, which is not designed to run a major famine relief operation. It is important to have effective co-ordination in places such as Ethiopia, and for that reason we support the action of the United Nations Secretary-General in appointing a special co-ordinator in the form of Mr. Jansson to operate from Addis.

Photo of Mr Tam Dalyell Mr Tam Dalyell , Linlithgow

As transport is crucial, what are the Government doing to help with the provision of British-made trucks?

Photo of Mr Timothy Raison Mr Timothy Raison , Aylesbury

Transport is crucial. We have allocated a good proportion of our aid to Ethiopia to road transport as well as to the Royal Air Force Hercules operation. We are providing new Land Rovers and spares for those that are already there.