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Congo (Famine Relief Fund)

Volume 643: debated on Wednesday 28 June 1961

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asked the Lord Privy Seal if he will seek authority at the United Nations to apply the Famine Relief Fund in the Congo for the relief of all refugees, including those from Angola; and what assessment has been made of the adequacy for this purpose of present stocks of food held in the Congo by the United Nations.

The United Nations authorities in the Congo have now told us that they take the view that they can properly apply their Congo Famine Relief Fund to relief work amongst Angolan refugees in the Congo. They consider that their present stocks of food are adequate for the relief of these refugees.

While welcoming the first part of that statement, may I ask the hon. Gentleman whether he can say exactly how much these stocks are at the moment? No doubt he is aware that there are nearly 100,000 refugees many of whom may stay for a considerable time. Is he satisfied that the stocks will be adequate now?

I have made particular inquiries on this point and I am assured on every account that there are sufficient stocks available for a considerable time. The refugee organisation is envisaging work in resettlement and providing seeds, and it is going into the matter very fully.