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Volume 450: debated on Monday 23 October 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment he has made of the effect on Angola of ending World Food Programme operations there. (95342)

Since 2002, when the conflict ended, the World Food Programme (WFP) has provided humanitarian support to Angola. This has covered a range of activities, including feeding operations, re-building infrastructure to enable access to remote regions with populations in need, and providing passenger air transport service for the humanitarian community. Last year, DFID provided over £1 million to WFP to support these activities in Angola.

The food security situation in Angola has improved significantly since 2002. WFP’s operations are scheduled to end by early 2007, with WFP retaining a residual presence for capacity building and monitoring for the remainder of the year.

DFID’s assessment is that Angola’s short-term humanitarian needs are much less significant than the levels of chronic poverty that make hunger a long-term problem in the country. Mortality rates in Angola are driven more by inadequate water, sanitation and health care than by food supply shortages. This is the situation for many countries in the region.

DFID is already providing substantial support in these areas through a £3.5 million grant to UNICEF’s operation in Angola.

Over the next three years, DFID will provide at least £7.5 million to support WFP’s preparedness for, and ability to respond, to humanitarian crises. This is over and above any contribution we will make to individual WFP appeals. This will complement the work we are already doing in the Southern African region to improve food security information systems, so that we can respond quickly and appropriately to hunger needs.

DFID will continue to carefully monitor the food security situation in Angola.