John Hemming (Birmingham, Yardley, Liberal Democrat)
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what his estimate is of total Government funds that will have been disbursed following the South East Asian tsunami; and what estimate his Department has made of what proportion of those funds will be paid to UK public sector bodies.
Hilary Benn (Secretary of State, Department for International Development; Leeds Central, Labour)
The Government have programmed some £67 million of their commitment of £75 million for the relief and recovery effort. I expect the full sum to be disbursed. The Government have also committed up to £65 million as the United Kingdom's contribution towards reconstruction and in addition, the Government will be contributing an estimated £50 million to the Disasters Emergency Committee appeal, through the tax relief on public donations made through the Gift Aid scheme and making a special donation to offset the Value Added Tax on goods sold to raise money for the tsunami-affected areas. Debt relief for affected countries is presently being discussed and will provide additional resources for partner Government's to respond to public need.
DFID's support to the relief and recovery effort is mainly channelled through the United Nations, the Red Cross movement and in support of non-governmental organisations. Some direct action has also been undertaken including support from United Kingdom military assets. The marginal cost of the support provided by the Ministry of Defence is currently estimated at £2.75 million.