We need your support to keep TheyWorkForYou running and make sure people across the UK can continue to hold their elected representatives to account.

Donate to our crowdfunder

Emergency Humanitarian Response Capability

Oral Answers to Questions — International Development – in the House of Commons at 11:30 am on 12th January 2011.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of John Howell John Howell Conservative, Henley 11:30 am, 12th January 2011

What recent progress he has made on his review of emergency humanitarian response capability.

Photo of Christopher Pincher Christopher Pincher Conservative, Tamworth

What recent progress he has made on his review of emergency humanitarian response capability.

Photo of Alan Duncan Alan Duncan The Minister of State, Department for International Development

The humanitarian emergency response review is an independent review of the UK Government's emergency humanitarian assistance, led by Lord Ashdown. The review team will complete its consultations this month and issue its final report by the end of April.

Photo of John Howell John Howell Conservative, Henley

Given the significance of the review, will the Minister explain its remit?

Photo of Alan Duncan Alan Duncan The Minister of State, Department for International Development

The review has a specific focus on rapid onset humanitarian emergencies, which can either be natural disasters or sudden outbreaks of conflict. The urgent international response to disasters is often confused and unco-ordinated. Today is the first anniversary of the devastating earthquake in Haiti, and what happened there will play an essential part in our review. [ Interruption. ]

Photo of Christopher Pincher Christopher Pincher Conservative, Tamworth

Will my right hon. Friend consider asking the emergency response review team to look at the situation in Tindouf in Algeria, where thousands of Sahrawis have been virtually imprisoned in camps for almost 25 years? Can he increase the profile of that issue?

Photo of Alan Duncan Alan Duncan The Minister of State, Department for International Development

As I explained, the humanitarian review is primarily focused on rapid onset emergencies, and it has therefore not looked at a protracted crisis such as that of the Sahrawi refugee camps in Algeria. We support them, however, through our 13% share in the budget of the European Community's humanitarian aid office, which in this financial year has committed €10 million to support Sahrawi refugees.

Photo of Paul Flynn Paul Flynn Labour, Newport West

What percentage of emergency aid does the Minister believe was included in the £52 million that the Vice-President of Afghanistan, Ahmad Zia Massoud, took from his country to his bolthole in Dubai? Is there any point in pouring money into those funds before we end the corruption that is endemic in the Afghanistan Government?

Photo of Alan Duncan Alan Duncan The Minister of State, Department for International Development

We do everything to make sure that such moneys are paid only through a trust fund and paid only after proven action with proper receipts. We do everything possible to overcome the challenges posed by corruption in any such country.

Photo of Gisela Stuart Gisela Stuart Labour, Birmingham, Edgbaston

The Minister mentioned Haiti. It is clear that some NGOs were not working very effectively together and were actually operating in their own interest. Will the review also consider the better co-ordination of NGOs, both from this country and those under UN supervision?

Photo of Alan Duncan Alan Duncan The Minister of State, Department for International Development

Yes, is the answer. However, I repeat that the review's remit is concentrated and focused on rapid onset humanitarian response-in other words, it is a review of emergency humanitarian response, not of the entire area of all humanitarian action.