HC Deb 19 January 2004 vol 416 cc927-8W
John Barrett

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what response his Department will make to the appeal of the World Food Programme for Sudanese refugees in Chad. [147773]

Hilary Benn

DFID is contributing to efforts to address the humanitarian needs of Sudanese refugees in Chad. We made a contribution of £1 million to the United Nations Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) in December, towards the Emergency Needs budget of their Supplementary Appeal for Emergency Assistance to Sudanese Refugees in Eastern Chad.

We are continuing to monitor the situation and may make further contributions if the situation indicates this is necessary. This may involve a contribution to the WFP appeal if there is a need for additional food aid.

The cause of the movement of refugees from Sudan into Chad is the fighting in Darfur, in western Sudan. We reiterate our deep concern at the continuing humanitarian crisis resulting from this conflict and call on all those involved to address the problems in Darfur through dialogue, to establish and maintain a ceasefire with independent monitoring and to allow unfettered humanitarian access to those in need. The UK has already contributed over £4 million to the relief effort (including to the UNHCR) and remains willing to use its good offices in any way possible to facilitate the peaceful resolution of the conflict.

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