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To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what recent assessment he has made of the humanitarian situation in the al-Hol refugee camp in Syria; and what steps her Department is taking to support refugees within that camp.
We are working closely with our partners on the ground to meet the humanitarian needs of the roughly 70,000 people in Al Hol camp. Conditions at the start of the year were very poor, following a large and unplanned influx of people in need.
Last financial year we provided over £40 million in humanitarian assistance in Northeast Syria, and plan to continue our support at that level this year. The UK’s initial humanitarian response focused on immediate, life-saving support, such as food, water, shelter (over 1,300 tents for example) and healthcare. This included providing “safe spaces” for children in the camp.
The biggest challenge facing our current programme is security of staff, with recent events resulting in NGO international staff being evacuated and local staff having to continue delivery under difficult circumstances. In spite of this, we are engaging with our partners to ensure humanitarian access is continuing to be delivered to Al Hol.