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Chad: Overseas Aid

Volume 474: debated on Monday 21 April 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what plans his Department has for the (a) delivery and (b) distribution of humanitarian assistance in Chad; what the minimum security requirements are for these plans to be put into effect; and if he will make a statement. (197122)

The Department for International Development (DFID) is planning to continue its humanitarian engagement with a further £5 million in 2008-09. DFID's support will focus in particular on internally displaced persons (IDP) and host populations. DFID will continue to support immediate relief interventions, to improve humanitarian co-ordination and look for ways to encourage early recovery. DFID is working with a range of implementers from the United Nations (UN) agencies, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and the Red Cross to ensure that the final distribution of assistance is carried out in a transparent and appropriately targeted way, with particular attention taken to ensure that partners are acting with independence and impartiality.

The relief initiatives supported by DFID are ongoing in spite of a security environment that makes access to vulnerable populations difficult. DFID has chosen partners that have a proven track record of delivery even in the most insecure areas at the Chad/Sudan border. The European Union Force (EUFOR) is mandated to protect IDPs, host populations and aid workers, and to promote the conditions for IDP return; as EUFOR deploys, we expect that it will become easier to deliver aid. DFID is making provision to allow the expansion of relief and early recovery efforts if and when the security environment is improved.