Sudan: Politics and Government

International Development written question – answered on 6th April 2010.

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Photo of Andrew Stunell Andrew Stunell Liberal Democrat, Hazel Grove

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent reports he has received on the humanitarian situation in Sudan; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Gareth Thomas Gareth Thomas The Minister of State, Department for International Development, Party Chair, Co-operative Party

The Department for International Development (DFID) receives regular reports from the United Nations and non-governmental organisations (NGOs). We are particularly concerned about the humanitarian situation in Darfur and southern Sudan.

In Darfur, despite recent progress on peace talks between the Government and rebel groups, fighting has continued between the Sudanese armed forces and a faction of the Sudanese Liberation Army rebel group in the Jebel Mara region. This will have humanitarian consequences for civilians. We continue to urge both sides to immediately cease hostilities and allow access to the area by humanitarian agencies.

In southern Sudan inter-tribal violence which displaced 390,000 people during 2009 has continued. Poor rains and high prices are fuelling food shortages. The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) report that 1.6 million people face acute food shortages in 2010, and a total of 4.3 million people will be food insecure this year.

The UK is the largest European bilateral donor to Sudan, providing some £50 million in humanitarian support this year.

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