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Horn of Africa: Food Aid

Volume 480: debated on Monday 6 October 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what estimate his Department has made of the number of people likely to be dependent on emergency food aid in the Horn of Africa in the period from 2008-09. (216295)

Analysis made by the United Nations Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Assistance (UNOCHA), drawing on a range of assessments made by UN agencies and NGOs, suggests that at least 17 million people are currently in urgent need of food and other humanitarian assistance. This is a result of conflict, forced displacement, starvation and disease, poor agro-climatic conditions and high food and fuel prices. This analysis is supported by Department for International Development (DFID) humanitarian experts who have visited some of the worst affected areas in the Horn in the past two months.

Prospects for 2009 depend on the harvests and condition of pasture lands, and these in turn depend on the rains. In south east Ethiopia and Somalia the level of insecurity is an important determinant of the level of humanitarian needs.