Skip to main content

Sudan: Armed Conflict

Volume 458: debated on Thursday 22 March 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment he has made of the measures necessary to ensure the safety of aid workers operating in Darfur. (129005)

Humanitarian agencies in Darfur are struggling to deliver in an increasingly difficult environment. Part of this is due to the general insecurity and targeted attacks on humanitarian vehicles, staff and assets and it is partly due to the bureaucratic impediments that undermine the ability of agencies to operate effectively.

With the UN and other international actors, we are urging all sides, including both the rebels and the Government of Sudan, to respect the neutrality of humanitarian agencies and cease all harassment and attacks on their staff. We are also lobbying hard for the Government to ease restrictions on humanitarian agencies particularly on accessing those in need, recruitment, importing supplies, visas and permits for staff.

Through the Common Humanitarian Fund (UK contribution £40 million in 2007) we are also strengthening the ability of the UN to monitor, report and respond to security incidents involving humanitarian workers.