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Relief food to East Africa

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AA03 22 JANUARY 1998

RELIEF FOOD AID TO EAST AFRICA I am pleased to announce that Australia will provide $7 million for relief food aid to East Africa. The food security situation in East Africa has become precarious as a result of the combined effects of drought and floods in recent months.

Australia will provide $7 million in funds through AusAID to the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) to support its relief operations in Kenya, Ethiopia and Sudan.

$ 1 million will be provided to support WFP emergency operations in Kenya. Kenya has recently suffered from the worst flooding in decades. The flooding has been particularly severe in the north-east of the country which had been subject to drought

for almost a year. The Australian contribution will be used to provide food for some of the estimated 300,000 people affected by the flooding.

$4 million will be provided to WFP for its emergency operations in Ethiopia. A recent crop assessment mission jointly conducted by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization and WFP has estimated that the most recent crop failures in Ethiopia will result in over 5 million people requiring food aid in 1998.

$2 million will be provided to support WFP emergency operations in Sudan. This food aid will assist internally displaced persons and populations affected by drought and conflict in the southern parts of the country.

It is expected that Australia will provide over $100 million through AusAID for food aid programs in developing countries in 1997-98.

Media contact: Kirk Conningham (Mr Downer's office) 02 6277 7500 Michelle Hardy (AusAID) 02 6206 4968