Select Committee on International Development First Special Report

Memorandum submitted by the Department for International Development

SUDAN (Seventh Report 1997-98)

In general, current urgent humanitarian needs are far less than in 1998. The Secretary of State raised the use of overland access in relation to the very high costs of delivering food by air. The cost of air transport has been reduced by a third since then. Continued insecurity, largely related to contested control of the oilfields, is frustrating attempts to reduce costs further by using rail and river. Insecurity in Eastern Equatoria has limited access by road to these areas. Roads into Bahr el Ghazal are being used, resulting in lower overall costs.

(Para 35 rec 3) In the event most donors conducted their own reviews of the Bahr el Ghazal crisis. The Department co-funded a review with the Netherlands of WFP's role. This is available should the Committee wish to see it.

(Para 44; rec 7) Progress on review of the United Nations consolidated appeals has been limited. We said to the UN in late 1998 that we were ready to provide money for core humanitarian aspects of consolidated appeals as the UN saw fit. Unfortunately the UN did not feel able to identify core humanitarian needs. We also have difficulty with the quality of financial reporting by the UN which we continue to pursue rigorously. Other donors share our concern. We continue to provide humanitarian support to Sudan on a case-by-case basis through our non-government organisation partners and also through the UN for specific activities as identified by the UN Humanitarian Co-ordinator.

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