International Development written question – answered on 16th October 2006.

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Photo of John Bercow John Bercow Conservative, Buckingham

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps are being taken by his Department to assist with the relief effort following flooding in southern Ethiopia.

Photo of Hilary Benn Hilary Benn The Secretary of State for International Development

DFID responded rapidly to the needs of the flood-affected communities in South Omo, Dire Dawa and other lowland areas of Ethiopia, with an allocation of £1 million in August, even before an international appeal was launched. This money was channelled through the Humanitarian Response Fund, which is overseen by the United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator and managed by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, and ensures that funds are available immediately as needed and in the event of further flooding.

According to recent reports, the area is currently receiving sufficient assistance. A recent assessment indicates that flood waters are rapidly receding, in particular in the North Gonder zone of Amhara region. We await the results of needs assessments of other affected areas, including Somali and Gambela regions, which are currently being conducted by the Government of Ethiopia and partners. We will provide further support if necessary.

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