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Ethiopia: Economic Situation

Volume 477: debated on Thursday 19 June 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps have been taken to tackle food shortages and poverty in Ethiopia in the last two years. (211822)

In 2006-07 and 2007-08 the Department for International Development provided assistance amounting to £231 million to Ethiopia. We focus our efforts on three main areas, in support of the Ethiopian government's efforts to reduce poverty: improving governance, promoting human development, and encouraging sustainable growth. Since 2005 DFID has contributed £91 million to the Productive Safety Net Programme, which provides cash and food to some seven million people who face food shortages every year, in exchange for participation in public works. We also provided £7 million in response to emergency appeals.

This year, Ethiopia is struggling to cope with the combined effects of high food prices and a poor rainy season and the latest available figures indicate that a further 4.6 million people will need emergency food aid from June to September this year. In 2008, DFID has given £5 million to the UN-managed Humanitarian Response Fund for humanitarian operations in Ethiopia, and is planning to give a further £10 million in response to the worsening situation.