Syria: Refugees — Question

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 3:13 pm on 6th November 2013.

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Photo of Lord Ashdown of Norton-sub-Hamdon Lord Ashdown of Norton-sub-Hamdon Liberal Democrat 3:13 pm, 6th November 2013

My Lords, I declare an interest as the president of UNICEF UK and in that capacity I thank the Government for their generosity, not just to UNICEF but also to many other charities in helping with the terrible suffering of children, who of course suffer most in these circumstances. The last case of polio in Syria was 14 years ago, in 1999, but this terrible disease is now taking hold, especially among the children of the refugee population. In past conflicts it has been possible to arrange agreements for immunisation between the warring parties. I wonder whether the Government have pursued this matter with both the Syrian Government, who seem perfectly prepared to do this, and the rebels. Are the Government pursuing this opportunity?