Afghanistan

International Development written question – answered on 6th November 2001.

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Photo of Mr Hilton Dawson Mr Hilton Dawson Labour, Lancaster and Wyre

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development

(1) what action she plans to take in order for the volume of food aid reaching Afghanistan to increase substantially;

(2) what assessment she has made of the increase needed in the volume of food aid reaching Afghanistan in order to guarantee adequate stockpiles for the winter.

Photo of Clare Short Clare Short Secretary of State, Department for International Development

In October, the World Food Programme reported that it managed to despatch over 27,000 metric tonnes of food into the country. This was less than their target but tonnage has improved and over 10,600 metric tonnes were despatched last week. WFP and other humanitarian agencies are working to maximise opportunities to get more food into the country as winter approaches. We are working with the international community to open up new land convoy routes into Afghanistan. As I announced in the House on 1 November 2001, Hansard columns 769-70W we have agreed to contribute £600,000 to Russian EMERCOM for a new convoy operation to deliver 9,000 metric tonnes of food from Tajikistan to northern Afghanistan.

WFP is buying 17,000 metric tonnes of wheat from the Iranian Government, which will be transported by rail to Turkmenistan, and from there to north and west Afghanistan. WFP is also looking at the airdropping of food to vulnerable people living in remote mountainous regions of Afghanistan which are likely to be cut off by winter snows.

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