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Volume 714: debated on Thursday 12 November 2009


Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the main obstacles to development assistance in southern Sudan through (a) local government organisations, (b) the United Nations, and (c) non-governmental organisations, between now and the elections. [HL6319]

The development challenges in southern Sudan are enormous, and the key obstacles to delivering development assistance to address those challenges are weak capacity and instability. At present neither the Government of Southern Sudan and its state governments, nor the United Nations, nor local or international non-governmental organisations have adequate capacity to respond to these challenges. Severe instability and insecurity have plagued southern Sudan in recent months with some 300,000 people displaced by localised insecurity, largely tribal in nature.

Between now and the elections these obstacles will be reinforced as government is likely to become more focused on the political process than on achieving long-term development objectives.

The UK Government are supporting a number of measures to address insecurity including:

a £50 million contribution to the Sudan Recovery Fund, supporting stabilisation activities in Jonglei and Lakes states through interventions that will build communities' confidence in the Government's ability to provide security;

a £5.6 million contribution to the Southern Sudan Peacebuilding Fund, strengthening both the Government's and NGOs' support for peace and reconciliation activities; and

working with the UN to provide grants to local and international non-governmental organisations to increase understanding of the electoral process and support electoral conflict mitigation activities.