Thank you to everyone who has written to me about the conflict in Sudan.
I share constituents feelings about the crisis in Sudan and what it means for Sudan’s prospects as an emerging democracy. My heart breaks thinking about the consequences this violence will have on the millions of innocent men, women, and children who just want to live and prosper in a country now ravaged by a brutal war that is not of their making.
The government has questions to answer about the speed and effectiveness of their evacuation. But Labour’s shadow Foreign Secretary David Lammy is right to say that we must not allow the world’s gaze to turn away from Sudan now that foreign nationals have left. That means the UK must show stronger leadership when it comes to finding a negotiated solution that turns the shaky ceasefires we have seen into a lasting peace.
It also means coordinating and funding a proper humanitarian assistance plan to alleviate growing famine and poverty for 1.4 million people the UN estimates have been displaced by this cruel war. It’s deeply disappointing that a time of growing need, the UK continues to press ahead with devastating cuts to our foreign aid budget that leave us ill-equipped to respond to the kinds of crises we’ve seen in Sudan and elsewhere in recent years.
Aid to Sudan totalled £223 million in 2021-22, before collapsing to just £31.5 million in 2022-23. It’s troubling that aid experts have suggested these huge cuts have undermined conflict monitoring systems that might have predicted this disaster earlier.
Even in the face of the most appalling tragedies, I will always stand up for a Britain that does our bit to support peace and security around the world. Please rest assured that Labour will continue to push the government to do more to end this devastating conflict and provide the humanitarian assistance needed to avert the suffering we are seeing.