Lesbos: Refugees

Department for International Development written question – answered on 25th November 2015.

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Photo of Cat Smith Cat Smith Junior Shadow Minister for Women and Equalities

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what support is being provided to refugees currently on the island of Lesbos.

Photo of Desmond Swayne Desmond Swayne The Minister of State, Department for International Development

The UK has so far provided around £4.5 million to partners working in Greece, many of which are active on Lesbos. This includes supporting the Red Cross for assistance and emergency first aid to refugees and migrants arriving on the beaches. We are also providing assistance to the IOM and UNHCR who are delivering essential coordination, reception and registration support, as well as direct physical assistance.

It is right that the vast majority of our support goes to the region, our support is helping to build long term stability and resilience to help refugees build a life in neighbouring countries and prevent them falling prey to people smugglers and traffickers. For this reason, the UK has been at the forefront of the response to the crisis in Syria and the region. The UK has pledged over £1.1 billion to date, our largest ever humanitarian response to a single crisis. We are the second largest bilateral donor after the US and have done more than any other European country.

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