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Somalia: Overseas Aid

Volume 474: debated on Monday 21 April 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment his Department has made of the level of the assistance provided by (a) French and (b) Danish military forces to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid to Somalia; and if he will make a statement. (199208)

A key element in the operational response to the humanitarian situation in Somalia is the logistical effort to deliver food and other relief supplies to Somalia by sea but the threat of piracy in 2007 made delivery hazardous. The introduction of military escorts has been useful, with no incidents of piracy affecting escorted vessels.

Since December 2007 the French and Danish military forces have escorted in total 70,000 metric tonnes of humanitarian aid to Somalia. Consignments included relief materials for UNICEF and UNHCR in addition to World Food Programme food aid. The Dutch military have recently taken over escort duties.