Somalia: Overseas Aid

International Development written question – answered on 21st April 2008.

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Photo of Angus Robertson Angus Robertson Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Defence), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Foreign and Commonwealth Office), Shadow SNP Westminster Group Leader

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment his Department has made of the level of the assistance provided by (a) French and (b) Danish military forces to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid to Somalia; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Gillian Merron Gillian Merron Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for International Development

A key element in the operational response to the humanitarian situation in Somalia is the logistical effort to deliver food and other relief supplies to Somalia by sea but the threat of piracy in 2007 made delivery hazardous. The introduction of military escorts has been useful, with no incidents of piracy affecting escorted vessels.

Since December 2007 the French and Danish military forces have escorted in total 70,000 metric tonnes of humanitarian aid to Somalia. Consignments included relief materials for UNICEF and UNHCR in addition to World Food Programme food aid. The Dutch military have recently taken over escort duties.

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