Belfast Telegraph

Friday 25 July 2014

UK to give £33 million to Darfur

Lynne Featherstone said the cash would be used to tackle the root causes of poverty

Britain will give at least £33 million to Darfur over the next three years to help millions of people to become more self-sufficient.

International development minister Lynne Featherstone said the cash would be used to tackle the root causes of poverty by helping communities to grow their own food and providing training to help people work.

Speaking ahead of an international donors conference on Darfur's development in Doha, the Lib Dem minister said at least half of a £67 million package of support for Sudan has been earmarked for Darfur, which has remained riven by violent conflict for a decade.

Overall, the money will ensure 1.7 million people a year have access to safe water and sanitation and 1.5 million people are given emergency food supplies, according to the Department for International Development.

It said the aid would help 500,000 people become "food secure" by 2015 through a raft of programmes, including the creation of seed banks and help to improve irrigation for farmers.

Almost half the population of Darfur are dependent on emergency relief and nearly two million remain displaced since the outbreak of conflict in 2003.

Ms Featherstone said: "Ten years on from the start of the conflict, our aid has helped save countless lives in a region where so many have been forced from their homes and almost one-and-a-half million people still rely on food aid for survival.

"We will never stand on the sidelines while so many people are in need of urgent help, but it is not good enough to simply offer more handouts.

"Our aid will help the poorest to get the help they need to stand on their own and make them better able to cope when crises occur.

"The government of Sudan also needs to do their part. Aid workers must have free, fair and safe access they need to do their job and the people of Darfur need peace so that they can rebuild their lives. Today's conference is a major opportunity to give the people of Darfur the support they need to escape years of conflict and dependency on emergency aid."

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