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Volume 930: debated on Thursday 21 April 1977

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asked the Minister for Overseas Development what aid she intends to provide for Botswana, in view of the economic difficulties that country is sustaining in coping with the movement of refugees from Southern Rhodesia and South Africa.

I would refer my hon. Friend to the reply given to the hon. Member for Haltemprice (Mr. Wall) on 9th March—[Vol. 927, c. 600.] The report has now been received on the visit to Botswana by a United Nations mission and its recommendations are being studied.My hon. Friend will be pleased to learn that Her Majesty's Government are now to offer £200,000 to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to provide assistance for Rhodesian refugees, particularly children, who are now fairly widely spread in countries adjacent to Rhodesia, including, of course, Botswana. This will be in addition to our regular contributions to the UNHCR and to the special contribution of £100,000 for Rhodesian refugees in Mozambique which was pledged in October 1976. Parliamentary approval of this new service will be sought in a Supplementary Estimate for the Overseas Aid Vote. Pending that approval, any expenditure required for urgent needs will be met by repayable advances from the Contingencies Fund.