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Volume 410: debated on Friday 19 September 2003

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To ask the Minister of State, Department for International Development what recent assessment he has made of the numbers of people internally displaced in Burundi; and what measures are in place to meet their humanitarian needs. [130305]

The current estimate of the number of internally displaced persons as of August this year is just over 280,000 plus up to an additional 100,000 temporarily displaced at any time. They are an important focal point for the humanitarian relief effort in the country. Although this is effective where there is access, there is concern about the welfare of communities who cannot be reached.The UK's humanitarian support to Burundi includes a £400,000 grant to Medecins Sans Frontieres for emergency health interventions, which benefits displaced persons in Bujumbura by increasing access to basic health and to emergency surgical services. We envisage a further £500,000 contribution to the UN Consolidated Appeal in the near future. The EU are providing, through its European Community Humanitarian Office (ECHO), up to £15 million for humanitarian support activities in Burundi, this includes humanitarian support to internally displaced people.We continue to monitor the humanitarian situation and will continue to respond to requests for support in line with perceived humanitarian priorities.