HL Deb 12 December 2002 vol 642 c50WA
The Earl of Sandwich

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What is the role of development aid in the peace process and resolution of conflict in southern Sudan; and whether such aid through civil society organisations would assist or inhibit that process over the coming months. [HL300]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Amos)

The war in Sudan has made impossible the provision of support for a development programme in Sudan over the past decade. Large amounts of development assistance has been provided for humanitarian relief, the bulk of which has been spent on air costs. Sudan is a highly indebted poor country and over 500 million dollars of development funding will become available from the international community when there is peace. This is creating an incentive for the warring parties to reach a comprehensive agreement. We reinforce this message to the Government of Sudan and the SPLM at every opportunity and point out that a track record of pro-poor reform will also generate considerable debt relief. Until there is a peace agreement, we will continue to support life-saving humanitarian work and peacebuilding activities, such as personnel to monitor the ceasefire in the Nuba mountains, support for the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development Secretariat who chair the peace talks, and support for anti-slavery work. We will also continue to support peace activities through civil society groups, an important part of the wider peace process, through our embassy peacebuilding fund.

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