Syria: Refugees — Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 3:46 pm on 10th December 2014.

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Photo of Lord Ashton of Hyde Lord Ashton of Hyde Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip) 3:46 pm, 10th December 2014

I agree entirely with the noble Baroness that this is an extremely difficult situation and I take her point about winter coming. The fact is that we regard aid on the ground as the most important way of helping those neighbouring countries which have all the problems she suggests. £700 million is not a small amount. It is the largest single aid figure we have ever given. I completely agree that it has to take place in the context of a political settlement. Taking vulnerable people and asylum seekers is important but, in terms of actual direct effect, in the short term aid on the ground is the best way of helping the neighbouring countries.