§ Lord Hylton
asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether they consider that the "Lord's Resistance Army" in Uganda is causing a humanitarian disaster, following the displacement of the great majority of the 281,000 people in the Acholi region and the abduction and enslavement of some 20,000 civilians; and, if so, whether they will propose any helpful action. [HL3703]
§ The Secretary of State for International Development (Baroness Amos)
The conflict that has affected northern Uganda for much of the last 17 years has intensified over the past 12 months. Up to 800,000 people are now internally displaced. There is growing inequality between northern and southern Uganda and the continuing conflict is preventing normal development activity from taking place. We continue to stress to the Ugandan Government the need to use all means, military and diplomatic, to resolve the situation and achieve a sustainable peace.
In response to the deteriorating situation DfID developed a humanitarian response strategy in 2002. This is currently being updated. Over the last 12 months we have disbursed £2.5 million through the World Food Progamme, UNICEF and the Uganda Red Cross Society and we are currently considering requests for a further £1 million for urgent humanitarian needs. We have also provided Save the Children Fund Denmark with a grant so that they can improve the conditions for the increasing number of unaccompanied children who are sleeping in town centres at night to avoid abduction by the LRA.
We will continue to actively engage and support the activities of the Government of Uganda, civil society, and traditional and religious leaders as they explore all avenues for ending this conflict.