Developing Countries: Religion

Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office written question – answered on 17th September 2020.

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Photo of Lyn Brown Lyn Brown Shadow Minister (Justice)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps he is taking to ensure that religious identity is not a barrier to equal access to UK Official Development Assistance.

Photo of James Cleverly James Cleverly Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office's (FCDO) use of country context analysis has increased the extent to which religious dynamics and religious groups are factored into all of our country programmes. The FCDO undertakes interdisciplinary analysis of a country's politics, society, state and economy to identify the most significant problems that hinder development and the main entry points and opportunities to create change. There is a strong emphasis on how politics, security, and demographics interact with economic growth and human development. This includes the role of religion and the persecution of religious minorities.

The FCDO is committed to working with all its partners, including faith-based organisations, to ensure that the most vulnerable people and groups are prioritised for humanitarian assistance, in line with international humanitarian principles. This includes religious and ethnic groups who are at risk of discrimination and persecution. We work closely with our partners to ensure they are rigorously assessing vulnerability and needs (including those linked with religious identity), ahead of allocating assistance, as well as conducting robust monitoring to ensure that aid is reaching those most in need.

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