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Sudan: Armed Conflict

Volume 473: debated on Monday 17 March 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment his Department has made of the humanitarian impact of the fighting in Darfur in the last 12 months; what assessment his Department has made of the effects of the operations in the Jabel Moun area in Darfur by the Sudanese army in February 2008 on the delivery of humanitarian aid; what discussions (a) he and (b) his officials have had with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on diplomatic steps to resolve the humanitarian situation in Darfur; and if he will make a statement. (192637)

About 380,000 people have been displaced in Darfur since January 2007, and numbers are still rising. As a result humanitarian indicators, such as malnutrition, are starting to rise above emergency thresholds for the first time since 2004. Due to ongoing fighting, humanitarian agencies are still unable to access the Jebel Moun area.

The Prime Minister has made it clear that Darfur is a high priority for the UK. On 27 February my right hon. Friends, the Foreign and International Development Secretaries, made a joint statement that called on all parties to stop the violence; to allow immediate humanitarian access; to protect civilians; and to facilitate the deployment of UNAMID.

The Department for International Development (DFID) and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) continue to work together to resolve the humanitarian situation in Darfur and the UK Government are the second largest bilateral donor to Sudan.