HC Deb 21 March 1980 vol 981 cc364-6W
Mr. Newens

asked the Lord Privy Seal if he will list the sums provided to Nicaragua in overseas aid by the United Kingdom for each of the last 10 years a contribution has been made.

£ thousands (in rounded figures)
1970 1971 1972 1973 1974
Financial Loans 171
Financial Grants (Disaster relief)
Technical Co-operation 4 21 66 87 77
Total Gross 4 21 66 87 248
£ thousands (in rounded figures)
1975 1976 1977 1978 1979
Financial Loans 269 130 35 10 10
Financial Grants (Disaster relief) 93
Technical Co-operation 129 157 370 176 142
Total Gross 398 287 405 186 246

Mr. Newens

asked the Lord Privy Seal if he will make a statement on aid to Nicaragua to assist in the task of reconstruction faced by the new Government; and if he will 'increase the amount of funds allocated for this purpose.

Mr. Hurd

Between June and December 1979 direct and indirect aid from Britain to Nicaragua totalled £1.65 million. The bulk of this, just under £1.5 million, has been channelled indirectly through multilateral organisations. These include the Inter-American Development Bank—approximately £600,000 can be attributed to United Kingdom aid funds—the European Community—United Kingdom share £630,000—and approximately £230,000 through the International Fund for Agricultural Development—IFAD. Most of this help took the form of emergency requirements for relief supplies, food, seeds, medicines and so on. But it is likely that in future these same institutions will provide substantial further reconstruction aid to Nicaragua.

Direct bilateral aid to Nicaragua has totalled approximately £170,000. Of this £100,000 was used for 100 hours of flying time by the RAF which carried in about 150 tonnes of emergency food and medical supplies from Panama at a time when access into Nicaragua by road was impossible. Relief for Nicaraguan refugees, partly channelled through the Save the Children Fund, has totalled a further £16,000. More recently we have sent antibiotics and water purifiers worth approximately £7,000 required after serious flooding occurred in Northern Nicaragua.

We have responded to the UNESCO appeal for support for the Nicaraguan

Mr. Hurd

The following aid has been provided to Nicaragua over the past 10 years:

adult literacy campaign by providing over 1,000 first-aid kits at a cost of around £20,000 for use in the rural areas. We are also at the moment putting together a package of tractor spares which the Nicaraguan Government have asked us to provide so that over 200 Massey-Ferguson tractors, damaged in the civil war, can be reconditioned. These will cost in the region of £40,000.

The constraints on our aid programme are now very severe and this will affect the level of any future help for Nicaragua.

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