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Volume 893: debated on Monday 9 June 1975

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asked the Minister of Overseas Development what specific aid is being given to Ethiopia in order to reduce the threat of famine and in the longer term to arrange self-sufficiency in the production of basic foodstuffs.

The major part of our present aid programme of £1·3 million a year is devoted to rural development with emphasis on improving agricultural production in those areas seriously affected by droughts and famine. I have recently approved expenditure of nearly £0–75 million for the second phase of an agricultural development project in Tigre Province. Funds have also been committed to provide grain silos as well as equipment and personnel for an animal disease investigation and eradication project. Our aid is also financing a study of existing rural roads throughout the country, as well as the construction of low-cost feeder roads in Wollo Province.We are at present assisting famine relief by continuing to maintain the 50 lorries donated last year by the British Government and British voluntary societies to the Ethiopian Relief and Rehabilitation Commission. We have recently provided water containers and trailers for use in the Ogaden. My disaster unit is still keeping a close watch on the situation, together with those British voluntary societies working in Ethiopia.