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Iraq (Humanitarian Contingency Plan)

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:36 pm on 30th January 2003.

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Photo of Clare Short Clare Short Secretary of State, Department for International Development 2:36 pm, 30th January 2003

In terms of gross national income, the UK's contribution to any humanitarian crisis throughout the world, as determined by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, is just over 5 per cent.—that is all. As hon. Members know, my Department's budget has virtually doubled since 1997, but is under strain, as I have just said. We have a contingency reserve and Iraq would be prioritised. However, I have just been in Africa, where there is a real fear about resources being taken away from southern Africa, the horn of Africa, the Afghan people, the west bank and Gaza—that would be wrong and we would not contemplate it. We will play our part in the international system, but the Department is not flush with resources—I must frankly warn the House that they are short.