Skip to main content

Sahelian Africa

Volume 886: debated on Thursday 20 February 1975

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

asked the Minister of Overseas Development what is the present position in regard to the need for food in the Sahel region of West Africa; and what contribution is being made by the United Kingdom to long-term projects to avert or minimise the consequences of future drought conditions.

At the invitation of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), representatives of Denmark, the EEC, France, Germany, Holland, Norway, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States of America took part in a mission which visited the Sahel last November to examine in detail the future needs of the drought-afflicted countries. The mission reported that good rains and improved local harvests in 1974 had much reduced the need for emergency food aid this year.We are providing a second donation of 10,000 metric tons of food aid to Mali. The FAO's Office for the Sahelian Relief Operation has recently told us that there is still a net additional requirement of 57,263 tons of cereal for the Sahel this year. We understand that this is likely to be provided, in part by the EEC to which we contribute.The longer-term development needs of the Sahel are important. My Ministry is already financing a major water supply project in Mali and is giving preliminary consideration to the possibility of providing assistance in the field of grain storage. We shall also be involved in long-term projects through our contributions to the international agencies. We are also participating in informal talks organised by the Development Assistance Committee of the OECD to discuss donor co-operation in dealing with the longer-term problems of the Sahel.