Part of Oral Answers to Questions — International Development – in the House of Commons at 1:43 pm on 29th July 1998.

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Photo of Clare Short Clare Short Secretary of State, Department for International Development 1:43 pm, 29th July 1998

On 18 May, I chaired a discussion held by EU Development Ministers on Sudan. Since then, I have discussed Sudan with the executive director of the UN World Food Programme, the United Nations Children's Fund and others. I am particularly concerned that the international community should take full advantage of the recently announced temporary ceasefire in the Bahr el Ghazal region of southern Sudan, and that we should seek to build on that to reach a negotiated settlement in Sudan, which is the real answer; otherwise, the war will cause a continuing threat of humanitarian crisis.

I wrote to my EU Development Minister colleagues on 14 July, urging them to make additional resources available, but the situation remains very worrying and it looks as though the famine will continue through this year into next.