Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Overseas Development – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 11th January 1988.

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Photo of Mr Ian Bruce Mr Ian Bruce , South Dorset 12:00 am, 11th January 1988

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a further statement on the British contribution to alleviating famine in Ethiopia.

The Minister for Overseas Development (Mr. Chris Patten): I returned yesterday from a visit to Ethiopia. I believe that our response to the emergency has been generous, but a sustained effort by the Ethiopian Government, donors and voluntary organisations will continue to be needed this year. In the course of my visit I therefore announced the allocation of an additional 40,000 tonnes of food aid, which we will deliver in the coming months. This will be channelled through international and voluntary agencies.

With this allocation our contribution to the food aid needs of the Ethiopian people totals 94,500 tonnes, and the overall cost of our assistance, including our share of European Community relief programmes, totals some £35 million since the beginning of last year.

We will continue to monitor the situation closely, and will consider if there is more that we should do.