Horn of Africa

Oral Answers to Questions — Overseas Development – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 17th June 1991.

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Photo of Mr Harry Greenway Mr Harry Greenway , Ealing North 12:00 am, 17th June 1991

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he has any plans to visit the Horn of Africa and Sudan; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Mrs Lynda Chalker Mrs Lynda Chalker , Wallasey

I would be prepared to visit the Horn of Africa again if it would assist the relief effort. At present, the World Food Programme is working to ensure that maximum use can be made of Port Sudan, Massawa and Assab.

Photo of Mr Harry Greenway Mr Harry Greenway , Ealing North

I thank my right hon. Friend for that reply. May I underline her obvious awareness of the horrendous starvation in the Horn of Africa? Will she say more about the visit of Mr. Jim Ingram to the area? What long-term measures can we support to provide food grown in the area, bearing in mind that unless people learn to grow their own food they will never overcome long-term starvation but will achieve only the short-term effect of being fed for the day?

Photo of Mrs Lynda Chalker Mrs Lynda Chalker , Wallasey

We should all congratulate Jim Ingram on his visit to Khartoum and Addis. He says that he has had the most positive response from the leaders of the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democracy Front in respect of relieving the need for food, medicine and shelter. He has also been successful in getting the interim Goverment in Addis Ababa to agree to clear roads in the Gambella area of mines, which are preventing people from moving safely, and to agree to cross-border feeding. There has also been agreement that military convoys will accompany the food convoys to the east in Hararghe. As I said in answer to the right hon. Member for Tweeddale, Ettrick and Lauderdale (Sir D. Steel), there will be a further follow up to the provision of food in Sudan, as well as the agreement to the air drops.