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Volume 403: debated on Monday 10 March 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what discussions she has had with the Sudanese Government in relation to aid available to their internally displaced persons in Southern Sudan. [101591]

We have not discussed with the Sudanese Government aid available to internally displaced persons (IDPs) in southern Sudan; however, under the auspices of OCHA, a Displaced Persons Task Force (with representatives from UNDP, UNICEF, IOM and others) has been established to take forward planning for IDP return in the event of peace. The Task Force will also to assist the Sudanese Government and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement/Army in planning around IDP issues and establishing an IDP policy framework.With some four million IDPs, Sudan has largest IDP population in the world. We continue to be deeply concerned about the humanitarian crisis in Sudan, particularly in the south. In the decade since 1991 Britain has pledged over £220 million to help with humanitarian crises in Sudan. This financial year, we have committed approximately £10 million to support life-saving humanitarian work, education, peace building activities (including support for the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development Secretariat and monitors for the Nuba Mountains ceasefire), and anti-slavery work.