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Burma: Famine

Volume 497: debated on Thursday 22 October 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment he has made of the of the severity of the famine in Chin state in Burma; and what relief his Department is providing for those affected by the famine. (294537)

Over the last two years, rat infestations have exacerbated chronic food shortages suffered by many people in Chin State. In September 2009, the World Food Programme (WFP) estimated that more than 19,000 households in 303 villages had been severely affected by the infestations. In response to the crisis, the Department for International Development (DFID) has approved funding of £880,000 towards emergency aid delivered through the United Nations Development Programme, WFP and their local partners. WFP estimates that by September, nearly 88,000 people had benefited from this aid. We are keeping the situation under close review.

We are also considering, in consultation with the United Nations and other donors, how best to address longer-term food security needs in Chin State and other parts of Burma.