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Sudan: Overseas Aid

Volume 472: debated on Thursday 21 February 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if the Government will provide financial and technical assistance to countries with available helicopters and related materials and personnel to assist with full deployment of the United Nations African Union Mission in Darfur. (187766)

We will consider assisting countries that may provide helicopters and other capabilities to the UN-African Union hybrid force in Darfur. We would discuss this on a case-by-case basis directly with the country concerned and in co-ordination with the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations and other potential donors.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the effect of the delay in the full implementation of the UNAMID mission to Darfur on (a) the security of and (b) the provision of humanitarian aid to the civilian population in the region. (187768)

Planning for the UN-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) envisaged full deployment by mid-2008. Delays generating and deploying the mission, as well as obstacles in Sudan, have restricted UNAMID’s capabilities. We are pressing the Government of Sudan and rebel groups to allow UNAMID full access and freedom of movement to improve security for humanitarian relief. UNAMID is starting to improve security with renewed firewood and other patrols.

UNAMID’s deployment to Darfur is one of the most complex and logistically difficult that the UN has ever undertaken. We are working closely with the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations and the African Union to achieve full deployment as soon as practicable.