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Western Sahara

Volume 301: debated on Wednesday 26 November 1997

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To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what aid payments (a) through the EU, (b) through non-governmental organisations and (c) made directly have been made by her Department in each of the last five years to refugees from the Western Sahara; and if she will make a statement. [17830]

The only figures immediately available from the EU are that 7 million ECU were spent on refugees in the Western Sahara in 1996, the UK share being approximately £1.8 million. The EU are planning to spend a similar amount in 1997.My Department has made a commitment of up to £60,000 in 1997–98, the first year that we have provided bilateral assistance to the Saharawi refugees, to fund War on Want to assist in the improvement of food storage facilities for refugees. So far £25,474 has been paid.We have also provided emergency funds in 1997–98 amounting to £30,000 to help improve water supply and distribution for Saharawian refugees.