Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:39 pm on 10th September 2018.

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Photo of Alistair Burt Alistair Burt Minister of State (Department for International Development) (Jointly with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office), Minister of State (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) (Joint with the Department for International Development) 3:39 pm, 10th September 2018

We have indeed been working extremely hard to try and make sure the supplies are there, and I commend the hon. Lady on her consistent championing ever since the beginning of this business in Syria of the White Helmets, civilian workers and the medical teams who operate there. We have indeed been speaking to Turkey about the efforts that might be made should there first be a movement of population. Turkey recognises that it is the first safe border to the north of the Idlib area and is likely to be called upon to use its resources. We and other international agencies have done what we can to ensure that what is available in the area to support people who are moving will be available. I understand that it is at present still possible to get assistance into Idlib; those humanitarian corridors are still working in a way they did not in other parts of the area. We will do all we can and respond in any way to further pleas for what may be necessary. We are extremely conscious of this, which is why I added £10 million extra on 17 August to the support the UK is giving specifically for medical aid supplies, to make sure they are available to those who need them. Turkey is working extremely hard both diplomatically and practically to try to stop the humanitarian disaster, because as well as preparing for it, we must do all we can to prevent it in the first place.