Sub-Saharan Africa

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — International Development – in the House of Commons at 11:30 am on 22nd January 2003.

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Photo of Clare Short Clare Short Secretary of State, Department for International Development 11:30 am, 22nd January 2003

I agree with my hon. Friend that peace in Angola provides great hope for its people and will enable the country's rich resources to be better used. That will help that region of Africa. There has been fighting in Angola since the 1960s, when it began its fight for independence, and there has been civil war ever since. The war is over, but there is desperate hunger and need because of its effects. We support the international mobilisation that is having some success in getting fighters settled and in delivering food to the areas that could not be accessed before. Angola is a fertile country with masses of land and rich diamond and oil resources that have been very badly managed. There is desperate corruption, so there will have to be a big reform effort. However, we are very engaged, as is the international community, and I hope that the Angolan people will be able to look forward to a much better future.