International Development written question – answered on 16th October 2006.

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Photo of William Hague William Hague Shadow Secretary of State (Foreign Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment he has made of the humanitarian impact of the Government military offensive in Darfur; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Hilary Benn Hilary Benn The Secretary of State for International Development

The Sudan Government's recent military offensive has caused civilian displacement, predominantly in North Darfur, with approximately 20,000 new arrivals having been registered in the camps for internally displaced people there. Localised displacement is assumed to have taken place further north in North Darfur, but aid agency assessments have been hampered due to the ongoing conflict.

The World Food Programme estimates that 224,000 registered beneficiaries in north Darfur could not be accessed in September due to the offensive and other inter-factional fighting. There could be a sharp rise in malnutrition rates early in 2007 if access for humanitarian agencies continues to be hampered, and fighting prevents the remaining population from harvesting their crops

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