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Sudan: Overseas Aid

Volume 464: debated on Wednesday 10 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what financial and other support he is making available to resolve the problems in Darfur. (155863)

My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister has made resolution of the Darfur conflict a priority for the Government. In his joint initiative with French President Sarkozy, he offered further development assistance dependent on progress on security, cessation of hostilities, political process and humanitarian access.

Meanwhile, the UK is helping diplomatically, politically and financially.

The UK co-sponsored UN Security Council Resolution 1769, which mandates the African Union (AU)/UN peacekeeping mission (UNAMID) for Darfur. UNAMID costs will be met through UN assessed contributions. The UK has committed £73 million to support the AU Mission (AMIS) in Darfur since it deployed in July 2004.

To support the political process, the UK has committed £2 million of funding since July 2006 to the AMIS Information Advisory Team which will support communication activities for the peace talks. We will also provide financial and technical support to the AU-UN Joint Mediation Support Team who are leading the peace process.

The UK, through the Department for International Development (DFID), is working with UN, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and other partners to resource community-level peace and confidence-building activities to complement the political process. The UK has committed £2.18 million to a UN programme to address livelihoods and environmental challenges—key drivers of the conflict.

Finally, DFID's programme makes the UK the second largest bilateral donor to Sudan, spending some £145 million in humanitarian funding in Darfur since the start of the crisis in 2003. We also have a bilateral programme with NGOs (£12 million per annum) to provide water, sanitation and health care to some of the four million people in need.