Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office

We pursue our national interests and project the UK as a force for good in the world. We promote the interests of British citizens, safeguard the UK’s security, defend our values, reduce poverty and tackle global challenges with our international partners.



Secretary of State

Shadow Ministers / Spokeperson
Liberal Democrat
Lord Purvis of Tweed (LDEM - Life peer)
Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)

Scottish National Party
Martin Docherty-Hughes (SNP - West Dunbartonshire)
Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Foreign Affairs Team Member)
Allan Dorans (SNP - Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock)
Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Foreign Affairs Team Member)
Alyn Smith (SNP - Stirling)
Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Foreign and Commonwealth Office)

Labour
David Lammy (LAB - Tottenham)
Shadow Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs

Liberal Democrat
Layla Moran (LDEM - Oxford West and Abingdon)
Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)

Plaid Cymru
Hywel Williams (PC - Arfon)
Shadow PC Spokesperson (Foreign Affairs)

Labour
Preet Kaur Gill (LAB - Birmingham, Edgbaston)
Shadow Secretary of State for International Development
Lord Collins of Highbury (LAB - Life peer)
Shadow Spokesperson (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs and International Development)

Scottish National Party
Hannah Bardell (SNP - Livingston)
Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Foreign Affairs Team Member)
Junior Shadow Ministers / Deputy Spokesperson
Labour
Lyn Brown (LAB - West Ham)
Shadow Minister (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs)
Bambos Charalambous (LAB - Enfield, Southgate)
Shadow Minister (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs)
Stephen Doughty (LAB - Cardiff South and Penarth)
Shadow Minister (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs and International Development)
Fabian Hamilton (LAB - Leeds North East)
Shadow Minister (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)
Yasmin Qureshi (LAB - Bolton South East)
Shadow Minister (International Development)
Catherine West (LAB - Hornsey and Wood Green)
Shadow Minister (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)
Ministers of State
Amanda Milling (CON - Cannock Chase)
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
Kemi Badenoch (CON - Saffron Walden)
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) (jointly with Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
James Cleverly (CON - Braintree)
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
Chris Heaton-Harris (CON - Daventry)
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon (CON - Life peer)
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park (CON - Life peer)
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
Parliamentary Under-Secretaries of State
Vicky Ford (CON - Chelmsford)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
Elizabeth Truss (CON - South West Norfolk)
Foreign Secretary
Baroness Stedman-Scott (CON - Life peer)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
Scheduled Event
Tuesday 25th January 2022
11:30
Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office
Oral questions - Main Chamber
25 Jan 2022, 11:30 a.m.
Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (including Topical Questions)
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Scheduled Event
Tuesday 25th January 2022
14:00
Foreign Affairs Committee - Oral evidence - Select & Joint Committees
25 Jan 2022, 2 p.m.
Government policy on Afghanistan
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Debates
Thursday 20th January 2022
NATO Parliamentary Assembly
Written Statements
Select Committee Docs
Thursday 20th January 2022
00:00
18 January 2022
Oral Evidence
Select Committee Inquiry
Wednesday 1st September 2021
Government policy on Afghanistan

International forces withdrew from Afghanistan in 2021, 20 years after the US-led invasion. The Taliban quickly gained control of the …

Written Answers
Friday 21st January 2022
Republic of Ireland: Foreign Relations
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 12 January 2022 …
Secondary Legislation
Thursday 14th October 2021
Republic of Belarus (Sanctions) (EU Exit) (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations 2021
These Regulations are made under the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018 (c. 13) to add new measures to the …
Bills
Wednesday 18th October 2017
Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018
A bill to make provision enabling sanctions to be imposed where appropriate for the purposes of compliance with United Nations …
Dept. Publications
Saturday 22nd January 2022
22:32

Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office Commons Appearances

Oral Answers to Questions is a regularly scheduled appearance where the Secretary of State and junior minister will answer at the Dispatch Box questions from backbench MPs

Other Commons Chamber appearances can be:
  • Urgent Questions where the Speaker has selected a question to which a Minister must reply that day
  • Adjornment Debates a 30 minute debate attended by a Minister that concludes the day in Parliament.
  • Oral Statements informing the Commons of a significant development, where backbench MP's can then question the Minister making the statement.

Westminster Hall debates are performed in response to backbench MPs or e-petitions asking for a Minister to address a detailed issue

Written Statements are made when a current event is not sufficiently significant to require an Oral Statement, but the House is required to be informed.

Most Recent Commons Appearances by Category
Nov. 30
Oral Questions
Jan. 20
Urgent Questions
Jan. 20
Written Statements
Jan. 18
Adjournment Debate
View All Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office Commons Contibutions

Bills currently before Parliament

Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office does not have Bills currently before Parliament


Acts of Parliament created in the 2019 Parliament

Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office has not passed any Acts during the 2019 Parliament

Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office - Secondary Legislation

These Regulations are made under the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018 (c. 13) to add new measures to the sanctions regime in relation to Belarus. The Regulations amend the Belarus (EU Exit) (Sanctions) Regulations 2019 (S.I. 2019/600) (“the 2019 Regulations”). The Regulations revoke and replace the Belarus (EU Exit) (Sanctions) (Amendment) Regulations 2021 (S.I. 2021/922). These Regulations make substantially the same amendments made by S.I. 2021/922 except that they correct a small number of defects.
These Regulations are made under the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018 (c. 13) (“the Sanctions Act”).
View All Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office Secondary Legislation

Petitions

e-Petitions are administered by Parliament and allow members of the public to express support for a particular issue.

If an e-petition reaches 10,000 signatures the Government will issue a written response.

If an e-petition reaches 100,000 signatures the petition becomes eligible for a Parliamentary debate (usually Monday 4.30pm in Westminster Hall).

Trending Petitions
Petition Open
7,908 Signatures
(6,901 in the last 7 days)
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1,612 Signatures
(253 in the last 7 days)
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3,263 Signatures
(48 in the last 7 days)
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2,000 Signatures
(43 in the last 7 days)
Petitions with most signatures
Petition Open
7,967 Signatures
(34 in the last 7 days)
Petition Open
7,908 Signatures
(6,901 in the last 7 days)
Petition Debates Contributed
388,539
Petition Closed
14 Nov 2021
closed 2 months, 1 week ago

The Government should introduce sanctions against Israel, including blocking all trade, and in particular arms.

146,346
Petition Closed
6 Sep 2020
closed 1 year, 4 months ago

The UK Government plans to introduce “Magnitsky law”, a law which targets people who commit gross human rights violations. Through this law or alternative means, this petition urges the UK Government to impose sanctions on China for their human rights violations on the Uyghur people.

Recognise the state of Palestine to help stop the conflict from Israel. Not recognising the Palestinian state allows Israel to continue their persecution of the Palestinians.

View All Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office Petitions

Departmental Select Committee

Foreign Affairs Committee

Commons Select Committees are a formally established cross-party group of backbench MPs tasked with holding a Government department to account.

At any time there will be number of ongoing investigations into the work of the Department, or issues which fall within the oversight of the Department. Witnesses can be summoned from within the Government and outside to assist in these inquiries.

Select Committee findings are reported to the Commons, printed, and published on the Parliament website. The government then usually has 60 days to reply to the committee's recommendations.


11 Members of the Foreign Affairs Committee
Tom Tugendhat Portrait
Tom Tugendhat (Conservative - Tonbridge and Malling)
Foreign Affairs Committee Chair since 29th January 2020
Graham Stringer Portrait
Graham Stringer (Labour - Blackley and Broughton)
Foreign Affairs Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Royston Smith Portrait
Royston Smith (Conservative - Southampton, Itchen)
Foreign Affairs Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Henry Smith Portrait
Henry Smith (Conservative - Crawley)
Foreign Affairs Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Bob Seely Portrait
Bob Seely (Conservative - Isle of Wight)
Foreign Affairs Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Andrew Rosindell Portrait
Andrew Rosindell (Conservative - Romford)
Foreign Affairs Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Stewart Malcolm McDonald Portrait
Stewart Malcolm McDonald (Scottish National Party - Glasgow South)
Foreign Affairs Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Alicia Kearns Portrait
Alicia Kearns (Conservative - Rutland and Melton)
Foreign Affairs Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Chris Bryant Portrait
Chris Bryant (Labour - Rhondda)
Foreign Affairs Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Neil Coyle Portrait
Neil Coyle (Labour - Bermondsey and Old Southwark)
Foreign Affairs Committee Member since 11th May 2020
Liam Byrne Portrait
Liam Byrne (Labour - Birmingham, Hodge Hill)
Foreign Affairs Committee Member since 5th January 2022
Foreign Affairs Committee: Upcoming Events
Foreign Affairs Committee - Oral evidence
Government policy on Afghanistan
25 Jan 2022, 2 p.m.
At 2.30pm: Oral evidence
Rt Hon Ben Wallace MP - Secretary of State for Defence at Ministry of Defence
Admiral Sir Ben Key KCB CBE - First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff at Ministry of Defence
At 3.30pm: Oral evidence
The Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon - Minister of State (Minister for South and Central Asia, United Nations and the Commonwealth) at Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office
Nigel Casey MVO - Director for Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran Directorate at Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office

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50 most recent Written Questions

(View all written questions)
Written Questions can be tabled by MPs and Lords to request specific information information on the work, policy and activities of a Government Department

18th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether her Department is taking steps to support the efforts of the Israeli government in respect of building confidence in the Palestinian Authority.

The UK welcomes continued engagement between the Government of Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA), including direct meetings between Israeli Defence Minister Gantz and President Abbas, as well as discussions between the Ministries of Finance aimed at improving economic cooperation. I attended the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee (AHLC) in October 2021 where I held meetings with Prime Minister Shtayyeh, Israeli Regional Minister Frej and the wider international community to urge the parties to accelerate efforts to improve the financial situation of the PA and the economic conditions in the OPTs.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
18th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if she will take steps to empower Counter Terrorism Command SO15 to investigate suspects of crimes against humanity under the International Criminal Court Act 2001 who are neither British residents nor nationals.

The United Kingdom is committed to upholding international law and holding those who commit the most serious crimes accountable for their actions. Under the International Criminal Court Act , crimes against humanity are an offence against the law of England and Wales if committed in England or Wales or outside the United Kingdom by a United Kingdom national or resident or a person subject to UK service jurisdiction. The jurisdiction of the courts in the UK to try crimes is premised on a presumption of territoriality, unless there is express statutory provision to the contrary. It is UK Government policy that the United Kingdom should not provide a safe haven for war criminals or those who commit other serious violations of international law. The UK is committed to helping other countries to prosecute offences that take place within their territory or within their jurisdiction.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
13th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 12 January 2022 to Question 97062 on Republic of Ireland: Foreign Relations, where that dinner took place; and how much it cost.

As part of the United Kingdom's diplomatic engagement with foreign countries and foreign dignitaries, Ministers and senior civil servants will from time to time provide diplomatic hospitality at home and abroad for business purposes. Foreign governments may also provide reciprocal hospitality at home and abroad.

As highlighted in the answer of UIN 66182, we do not routinely provide details of such hospitality, as this could in itself undermine the national interest. It may compromise the goal of such international engagement by providing a running commentary of which foreign representatives were met and which were not met; how much was spent on one country, as opposed to the other; and diminish the ability to engage in secure and confidential channels of communication by revealing the locations that discrete meetings may take place.

Having carefully considered the public interest in this matter, it is in the national interest not to disclose this information. There is a public interest in respecting international confidences to ensure that foreign states and international organisations are not deterred from engaging with the UK Government. This broader approach is also reflected in the Section 27 exemption of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 passed by Parliament, and in the approach taken under successive Administrations.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
18th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to the large number of British citizens resident in the United Arab Emirates, what support the Government is offering to that country following the drone attack on Abu Dhabi airport on 17 January 2022.

As set out by the Foreign Secretary and I on 17 January, the UK condemns in the strongest terms the attacks on Abu Dhabi. We are in close contact with our Emirati partners via Ministerial and official channels and continue to offer our support. We are closely monitoring the situation and keeping our Travel Advice under constant review. British Nationals in the UAE should sign up for alerts and follow our travel advice for the latest information.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
10th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if she will publish the (a) dates and (b) outbound destinations for each occasion on which (i) she and (ii) her predecessor made use of the VIP suites at Heathrow Airport in (A) 2019, (B) 2020 and (C) 2021.

We cannot provide specific detail on VIP use of Heathrow Suite - or any other airport, as this could potentially compromise said VIPs security.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
13th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether she has made assessment of the (a) treatment of Mercy, Destiny, Emmanuel, Martha and Esther Tarfa who were transferred to an orphanage in Gaya in Kano State, Nigeria and (b) implications for her policies of that matter.

The UK Government has emphasised to the Nigerian authorities the importance of a fair and transparent legal process for Professor Tarfa, in accordance with Nigerian law and international human rights standards. We understand that Professor Tarfa is still facing an additional charge and we will continue to monitor the case closely.

The welfare of the children relocated from the Du Merci orphanage remains paramount. The UK Government will continue to engage with the Nigerian authorities to reiterate the need to ensure the children's safety and wellbeing, in the most appropriate care setting for their needs.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
13th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment she has made of the situation of the children from the Du Merci orphanages in the context of the acquittal of Professor Tarfa, the founder of the Du Merci orphanages in Nigeria's Kano and Kaduna states, following charges of abducting and confining children in unregistered and illegal orphanages.

The UK Government has emphasised to the Nigerian authorities the importance of a fair and transparent legal process for Professor Tarfa, in accordance with Nigerian law and international human rights standards. We understand that Professor Tarfa is still facing an additional charge and we will continue to monitor the case closely.

The welfare of the children relocated from the Du Merci orphanage remains paramount. The UK Government will continue to engage with the Nigerian authorities to reiterate the need to ensure the children's safety and wellbeing, in the most appropriate care setting for their needs.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
13th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps she is taking to increase the proportion of diplomats who speak foreign languages in Embassies and High Commissions.

Language skills are critical to the FCDO's operations and impact. Full-time language training is offered for some overseas roles (known as 'speaker slots'), and its successful outcome is measured by examination. In 2018, the proportion of FCDO officers in speaker slots with a valid exam pass at their target level was 55%. Following considerable efforts to improve teaching quality, employee performance and results monitoring, that figure now stands at 70%. The FCDO is committed to further improving target level attainment and expanding the language skills of our staff.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
18th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps her Department is taking to help enable low-income countries to meet the Independent Allocation of Vaccines Group recommendation, published on 21 December 2021, on vaccinating 70 percent of all countries populations against covid-19 by mid-2022.

The UK is committed to ending the acute phase of the pandemic as soon as possible, and strongly supports the COVAX Facility as a key mechanism to deliver this. COVAX has now delivered over one billion vaccine doses to 144 countries and territories. The UK is among the largest donors to COVAX's Advance Market Commitment, committing £548 million to supply vaccines in up to 92 low and middle income countries. The UK has also donated more than 30 million doses, with millions more to be sent globally in 2022.

Many factors contribute to vaccination coverage levels, including supply, health system capacity and demand. The UK worked closely with the Independent Allocation of Vaccines Group established by the World Health Organisation (WHO) to develop WHO's global vaccination strategy and endorsed it at the G20 Leaders' Summit in October 2021. The UK recognises its recommendation for 70% vaccination coverage as well as its advice that countries need to set their own national targets based on local context and demographics.

Amanda Milling
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
13th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if she will publish a response to EDM 836 on Detention of Professor Faizulla Jalal.

We welcome the release of Professor Faizullah Jalal. Following his arrest, we joined international partners in raising our concern over his detention. FCDO officials continue to regularly raise human rights with the Taliban, including the importance of freedom of expression. We will continue to work closely with others to call for freedom of the media to be respected in Afghanistan, to respond to human rights violations and abuses and to push for those responsible to be held to account.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
17th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps she has taken in response to reports that HSBC has invested in Xinjiang Tianye Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps, which was sanctioned by the US for slave labour and genocide.

The Government has taken a number of measures to help ensure that no British organisations are profiting from or contributing to human rights violations against the Uyghurs or other minorities. We have introduced new guidance for UK businesses on the risks of doing business in Xinjiang - supported by a programme of Ministerial engagement - and announced enhanced export controls, as well as a commitment to introduce financial penalties for non-compliance with section 54 of the Modern Slavery Act. Our overseas business risk guidance makes clear to UK companies the risks of operating in Xinjiang, and urges them to conduct appropriate due diligence and consider their corporate responsibilities when making investment decisions.

Amanda Milling
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
17th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment she has made of the outcome of the 2021 Summit for Democracy which he addressed online on 9 December 2021; and if she will make statement.

The PM welcomes this US initiative and was pleased to be able to deliver the UK statement. The UK was also able to field Ministers across a range of summit events, including on Democracy-Affirming Technology and Disability-Inclusive Democracy. We will continue to partner with the US, and others, to make the "Year of Action" on democracy a success, building momentum for the planned in-person second Summit. This is an opportunity to advance the Network of Liberty through collaborating on technology, trade, investment and infrastructure so that together, democracies can advance the cause of freedom from a position of strength. We look forward to continued engagement with the US and our allies on this vital agenda.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
17th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what progress the Government has made on meeting its target of donating 100 million covid-19 vaccines by the end of June 2022; and when that target will be met.

The UK has been a world leader in ensuring developing countries can access vaccines, through our early support to the COVAX scheme and commitment to donate surplus vaccines. The Prime Minister has been clear that no one is safe until we are all safe.

The UK has fulfilled its pledge to donate 30 million coronavirus vaccine doses by the end of 2021, with 25.4 million of these doses already deployed to countries in need. We are managing our vaccine supply so that all vaccines are either used as quickly as possible in our domestic programme or shared internationally. Decisions on vaccine donations will continue to depend on supply chain reliability, Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation advice and the ability of countries to absorb and deploy vaccines.

Amanda Milling
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
17th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether her Department has made an assessment of the implications for its policies of recent reports of anti-Muslim attacks in India; and whether she has raised that matter with the Indian Government.

We condemn any instances of discrimination because of religion or belief, regardless of the country or faith involved. We look to India to uphold all freedoms and rights guaranteed in its strong constitution and by the international instruments to which India is a party. We engage with India on a range of human rights matters, working with Union and State Governments, and with non-governmental organisations, to build capacity and share expertise to promote human rights for all. Where we have concerns, we raise them directly with the Government of India, including at ministerial level.

The British High Commission in New Delhi and our network of Deputy High Commissions regularly meet religious representatives and engage with Indian faith communities. The British High Commission supports a UK-India Interfaith Leadership Programme for a cohort of emerging Indian faith leaders, including Muslims, creating an opportunity to promote values of tolerance and multi-culturalism. The UK will host an international Ministerial conference on Freedom of Religion or Belief (FoRB) in 2022 to energise collective efforts on this agenda, demonstrating our enduring commitment to promoting FoRB for all. We also work with the UN, OSCE, Council of Europe, G7 and other multilateral fora to promote FoRB.

Amanda Milling
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
13th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps she is taking to ensure that the UK’s building of new economic partnerships will not adversely impact human rights overseas.

The Government is clear that more trade will not come at the expense of human rights. The UK will continue to show global leadership in encouraging all states to uphold international human rights obligations and hold those who violate human rights to account. In doing so we will continue to bring to bear all of the diplomatic and development tools available to us. We have, for example, used the powers provided by the Global Human Rights sanctions regulations to impose sanctions on 81 individuals and entities involved in serious human rights violations or abuses around the world.

Amanda Milling
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
13th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if she will publish (a) Government spending on global health research in the financial years (i) 2018-19, (ii) 2019-20 and (iii) 2020-21 and (b) planned spending for 2021-22.

The total spend on centrally commissioned health related research by the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office over the last three financial years is as follows:

2018/19 - £132.33 million

2019/20 - £155.41 million

2020/21 - £371.86 million

2021/22 - Final and audited spend for 2021/22 will be published in our annual report later this year.

Amanda Milling
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
12th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether the Minister for Asia has met with representatives of the World Uyghur Congress.

As referenced in my response to written questions 100589 and 100590, FCDO Ministers and officials regularly meet members of the Uyghur diaspora and maintain a dialogue with leading human rights Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) about the situation in Xinjiang. Most recently, in December, I hosted a roundtable for human rights NGOs attended by a representative of the World Uyghur Congress.

Amanda Milling
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
17th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, (a) what assessment the Government has made of the damage in Tonga caused by the tsunami in that country and (b) if she will make it her policy to increase assistance to that country.

The UK is very concerned by the appalling devastation caused by the volcanic eruption and tsunami in Tonga. The Tongan authorities, with the support of the Australian and New Zealand defence forces, are conducting an urgent humanitarian assessment of the islands. Once this assessment is complete, we will have a fuller picture of the scale of damage and the nature of the assistance that is needed, so that we can assess what assistance the UK can most helpfully provide. Most UK aid in the Pacific Island countries is delivered through multilateral institutions, which have the capacity and scale to deliver strong development impact in the region on our behalf. Since 2015, Tonga received over £25.9 million of UK aid through our core funding to multilateral institutions.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
17th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 10 January 2022 to Question 98300 on Afghanistan: Refugees, if she will publish guidance on how Afghan nationals can access financial support.

We have no plans to publish guidance on assistance for Afghan nationals in third countries, as this is dealt with on a case-by-case basis.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
13th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to Part One of the National Disability Strategy, published on 28 July 2021, what progress her Department has made on the launch of its enhanced Disability Inclusion Strategy; and (b) when that strategy will be launched.

The UK is committed to promoting and protecting universal rights for all, including people with disabilities. The UK is aiming to launch the new FCDO Disability Inclusion Strategy next month to mark the Global Disability Summit. The strategy continues to be guided by the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The International Development Strategy will be published in the Spring.

The first FCDO Disability Inclusion Board took place last month. The Board covered the forthcoming strategy, disability inclusive climate action and the Board Terms of Reference. The FCDO's work on Overseas Development Assistance disability mainstreaming across other departments will commence in the new financial year.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
13th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to Part One of the National Disability Strategy, published on 28 July 2021, what recent progress her Department has made on the launch of the International Development Strategy; and what steps she is taking to ensure that disabled people’s rights are enshrined within that strategy.

The UK is committed to promoting and protecting universal rights for all, including people with disabilities. The UK is aiming to launch the new FCDO Disability Inclusion Strategy next month to mark the Global Disability Summit. The strategy continues to be guided by the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The International Development Strategy will be published in the Spring.

The first FCDO Disability Inclusion Board took place last month. The Board covered the forthcoming strategy, disability inclusive climate action and the Board Terms of Reference. The FCDO's work on Overseas Development Assistance disability mainstreaming across other departments will commence in the new financial year.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
13th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to Part One of the National Disability Strategy, published on 28 July 2021, whether the first meeting of her Department’s External Disability Board went ahead in December 2021; and if she will publish details of the Board’s members.

The UK is committed to promoting and protecting universal rights for all, including people with disabilities. The UK is aiming to launch the new FCDO Disability Inclusion Strategy next month to mark the Global Disability Summit. The strategy continues to be guided by the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The International Development Strategy will be published in the Spring.

The first FCDO Disability Inclusion Board took place last month. The Board covered the forthcoming strategy, disability inclusive climate action and the Board Terms of Reference. The FCDO's work on Overseas Development Assistance disability mainstreaming across other departments will commence in the new financial year.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
13th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to Part One of the National Disability Strategy, published on 28 July 2021, what steps her Department is taking to ensure that the UK’s Official Development Assistance spend for 2021-22 is disability-inclusive.

The UK is committed to promoting and protecting universal rights for all, including people with disabilities. The UK is aiming to launch the new FCDO Disability Inclusion Strategy next month to mark the Global Disability Summit. The strategy continues to be guided by the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The International Development Strategy will be published in the Spring.

The first FCDO Disability Inclusion Board took place last month. The Board covered the forthcoming strategy, disability inclusive climate action and the Board Terms of Reference. The FCDO's work on Overseas Development Assistance disability mainstreaming across other departments will commence in the new financial year.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
12th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps she is taking to support the Governments of (a) Nigeria, (b) Niger and (c) other neighbouring states with a process to restore security in areas of north-west Nigeria affected by banditry, farmer-herder conflict, and intercommunal conflict.

We are concerned by deteriorating security in North West Nigeria. Intercommunal violence and attacks by criminal groups are having a devastating impact on communities in this region, as well as in the Maradi region of Niger. I discussed insecurity in Nigeria with Foreign Minister Onyeama in a bilateral meeting in November and I will hold further such discussions with the Nigerian Government during the upcoming Security and Defence Dialogue.

We condemn the recent attacks in Zamfara State in North West Nigeria. On 10 January, I publicly expressed my concern about these horrific attacks and reiterated our commitment to working with the Government of Nigeria to support sustainable peace and security. We are working with our Nigerian partners to monitor the situation. In 2020 we supported more than 15,000 displaced people in Kaduna State, North West Nigeria, with cash grants to address food security as well as water and sanitation needs. Furthermore, we are supporting local peace-building efforts, including through our work with the Nigeria Governors' Forum. The UK Government is also supporting the International Organisation for Migration's work with the Governments of Niger and Nigeria to improve border management.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
12th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps she is taking to offer support to the Government of Nigeria with the humanitarian impact of the massacres in Zamfara state between the 4 and 6 January 2022.

We are concerned by deteriorating security in North West Nigeria. Intercommunal violence and attacks by criminal groups are having a devastating impact on communities in this region, as well as in the Maradi region of Niger. I discussed insecurity in Nigeria with Foreign Minister Onyeama in a bilateral meeting in November and I will hold further such discussions with the Nigerian Government during the upcoming Security and Defence Dialogue.

We condemn the recent attacks in Zamfara State in North West Nigeria. On 10 January, I publicly expressed my concern about these horrific attacks and reiterated our commitment to working with the Government of Nigeria to support sustainable peace and security. We are working with our Nigerian partners to monitor the situation. In 2020 we supported more than 15,000 displaced people in Kaduna State, North West Nigeria, with cash grants to address food security as well as water and sanitation needs. Furthermore, we are supporting local peace-building efforts, including through our work with the Nigeria Governors' Forum. The UK Government is also supporting the International Organisation for Migration's work with the Governments of Niger and Nigeria to improve border management.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
6th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with the government of India regarding its decision to block overseas funding for the Missionaries of Charity.

We are aware that some NGOs have faced difficulties in India due to the application of the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) by the Indian authorities and that some, like Missionaries of Charity, have recently had applications to renew their foreign funding licenses rejected. We continue to support a wide range of local Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) partners in India, including through programmes, and officials have discussed issues facing NGOs directly with the Indian Government.

We are pleased to note, on 8 January, the Indian Ministry of Home Affairs restored the FCRA license of the Missionaries of Charity, meaning the NGO will be able to receive and use foreign funding again. The British High Commission in New Delhi will continue to monitor developments.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
17th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what discussions she has had with her (a) Cuban and (b) Venezuelan counterpart on the Russian Government's refusal to rule out military deployments to those countries.

We have not had discussions with the Cuban Government or with counterparts in Venezuela, where we do not recognise the Maduro regime. We are, however, concerned by Russia's refusal to rule out military deployments to Venezuela and Cuba.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
12th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 11 January 2022 to Question 98241 on Somaliland: Freedom of Expression, whether the engagement included raising the cases of (a) Abdifatah Mohamoud Abdi, (b) Khadar Farah Rikaah, (c) Hamze Abdi Ahmed and (d) Mukhtaar Hersi Waal.

We note that Abdifatah Mohamoud Abdi, Khadar Farah Rikaah, Hamze Abdi Ahmed and Mukhtaar Hersi Waal were released on 3 January without any charges. The UK engages with the Somaliland Government on an ongoing basis, including with regular meetings between the UK Ambassador to Somalia and President Muse Bihi Abdi, most recently on 18 December 2021. This meeting did not involve specific discussion of the four cases; however, our regular engagement covers a broad range of issues, including discussion of our shared interests in upholding human rights in Somaliland - of which freedom of expression and freedom from arbitrary arrest or detention are important elements.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
17th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assistance the Government is providing to Peru following the severe flooding as a result of the volcanic eruption in Tonga.

The volcanic eruption in Tonga caused anomalous waves and temporary changes in sea-level along parts of the Peruvian coast, which sadly led to the loss of two lives. Whilst some buildings were damaged by flooding, this was on a limited scale and the Peruvian Government has not requested any assistance from the international community.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
12th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps the Government is taking to promote trade across the Commonwealth.

We are committed to working with our friends and allies in the Commonwealth to remove unnecessary barriers to free and fair trade. At CHOGM18, Heads of Government adopted the Commonwealth Connectivity Agenda for Trade and Investment with the ambition of enhancing cooperation and boosting intra-Commonwealth trade to $2 trillion by 2030. Programmes such as the UK-funded Commonwealth Trade Facilitation Programme have helped member states implement the World Trade Organization Trade Facilitation Agreement, and our SheTrades programme has supported over 3,500 women-owned businesses in the Commonwealth to participate in international trade and helped generate £32million in sales for Women Owned Businesses.

The UK already has trade deals with 33 Commonwealth members. In addition, a further 15 Commonwealth members who qualify as developing countries benefit from reduced tariffs under the Generalised Scheme of Preferences (GSP). The Government is currently reviewing the GSP, with the aim of making it more generous and simpler for partner countries and businesses to use, and will launch a new Developing Countries Trading Scheme (DCTS) in 2022. The DCTS will be a major opportunity to grow free and fair-trade with our Commonwealth partners,  allowing them to diversify and grow their economies.

Amanda Milling
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
12th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment she has made of the potential impact on UK diplomatic engagement in the Horn of Africa region of the announcement by the People’s Republic of China that it will soon appoint a special envoy for that region.

The UK is very concerned by the increase in conflict in the Horn of Africa and the unprecedented range and severity of humanitarian crises in the region - where drought and flooding, alongside ongoing conflict and issues of access, are putting tens of millions of people at risk. We hope that greater international interest will result in increased support for international efforts to deescalate and resolve conflicts, and address the substantial humanitarian needs. The UK Special Envoy for the Red Sea and Horn of Africa has been working with international partners to help coordinate international efforts. We welcome China's recent calls for a peaceful resolution to the conflict in Ethiopia at the United Nations Security Council. We look forward to China naming its new Envoy and discussing with them how we can work together to address these most pressing concerns.

Amanda Milling
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
12th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent estimate she has made of the scale of the global increase in need for nutritional support as a result of recent rises in the prices of basic foodstuffs.

The global Integrated food security Phase Classification (IPC) estimates there will be over 223 million people living in crisis or worse levels of acute food insecurity by the middle of 2022. This is up from 164 million at the end of 2020. Conflict is the primary cause of this increase in need, but it is being exacerbated by climate change and the socio-economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as global food price rises, compromising people's access to nutritious food. Our recently launched approach paper to Ending Preventable Deaths includes strengthening and transforming food systems to make safe and nutritious food accessible.

The UK's humanitarian response helps address the rising need in the short term. In 2021, the UK brokered the first-ever G7 Famine Prevention and Humanitarian Crises Compact to tackle this challenge, securing £5 billion in humanitarian assistance and resilience strengthening, helping to address people's immediate food insecurity in the 42 countries one-step from famine. FCDO have committed additional funding to deteriorating food crises since, including £50 million for Afghanistan and £76 million for Ethiopia, helping to tackle food insecurity and malnutrition.

Amanda Milling
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
13th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what oversight her Department's chief scientific adviser has of research funding allocations from the Overseas Development Assistance budget.

The Chief Scientific Adviser (CSA) at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), who is also Director of Research, has oversight across all of the Department's allocations of Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) to research. She proposes a detailed plan for spending to the responsible Minister of State, with whom rests the final decision on allocations.

Other government Departments remain responsible for their allocations of ODA. The FCDO CSA liaises regularly with counterparts in these departments, both directly and through the Strategic Coherence for ODA-funded Research (SCOR) Board.

Amanda Milling
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
17th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, when she last had discussions with her counterparts in (a) Latvia, (b) Lithuania, (c) Estonia and (d) Poland.

The Foreign Secretary last spoke with the Latvian, Lithuanian, Estonian and Polish Foreign Ministers at the NATO summit in Riga on 30 November/1 December.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
12th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent progress the Government has made on negotiating a settlement on the Northern Ireland Protocol with the EU; and what recent assessment the Government has made of the need of using article 16 of that protocol.

The Foreign Secretary and European Commission Vice-President Šefčovič held their first face-to-face meeting at Chevening on 13-14 January. They agreed that officials would meet this week (w/c 17 January) in intensified talks and that they will meet again on 24 January to assess progress.

The UK's preference remains for a negotiated solution but if this is not possible, we remain ready to use the safeguard measures (Article 16) in order to preserve stability in Northern Ireland and protect the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
12th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment she has made of the potential merits to the UK's foreign policy objectives of writing the Common Travel Area into domestic UK law.

The Common Travel Area (CTA) is a longstanding administrative arrangement between the UK and Ireland, as well as the Isle of Man, Guernsey and Jersey. It allows British and Irish citizens to travel freely between the UK and Ireland and reside in either jurisdiction. It also facilitates the enjoyment of associated rights and privileges including the right to work, to study and to access social security benefits and health services.

This is already underpinned by current domestic legislation. In 2019, the British and Irish governments signed a Memorandum of Understanding reaffirming our mutual commitments on rights and privileges enjoyed by British and Irish citizens in each other's state.

It is estimated that some 60 million UK Citizens benefit from these administrative arrangements, with some 5 million Irish citizens benefitting.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
12th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether her Department has considered the submission made by International Truth and Justice Project on the potential sanctioning of Sri Lankan General Shavendra Silva under the Global Human Rights Sanctions Regime.

Sanctions are one response among a number of diplomatic tools we can deploy around the world as part of a broader political strategy in order to change or send a political signal regarding particular behaviours. The Global Human Rights Sanctions regime gives the UK a powerful tool to hold to account those involved in serious human rights violations or abuses. The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office is grateful for the submission by the International Truth and Justice Project in relation to General Shavendra Silva. We will continue to consider targets globally, guided by the objectives of the human rights sanctions regime and the evidence. However, it is not appropriate to speculate on who may be designated in the future, as to do so could reduce their impact.

Amanda Milling
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
17th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment she has made of recent attempts by Russia to spread disinformation to UK and European traditional and social media outlets.

The Russian State's record of unprovoked, reckless and destabilising activity, including industrial-scale disinformation, is a stain on Russia's reputation, damages its international standing and undermines the Russian Government's claims to be a responsible global actor.

The Government takes the issue of disinformation very seriously. We know that certain states routinely use disinformation as a foreign policy tool.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
12th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment she has made of the compliance of her Department's staff working from home with the Working Time Regulations 1998.

FCDO continues to apply the policies that were in place prior to the pandemic in regard to working time. Staff have contracted hours which do not exceed the limit specified in the Working Time Regulations 1998. Staff working from home are required to work their contracted hours as if they were attending a workplace. The policy includes provision for 'time off in lieu' to be authorised for any ad-hoc instances where staff have been required to work over their contracted hours for business reasons. Each employee's contracted hours are recorded on FCDO's payroll systems and ensuring staff work their contracted hours, and are not routinely working beyond this, is part of the role of the line manager.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
17th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps she is taking to respond to the cyber attack on Ukraine what assessment she has made of who is responsible for the attack; and what steps she is taking to ensure the UK's infrastructure is resilient to such hostile action.

Investigations into this incident are ongoing. The UK provides support to Ukraine in many areas, including supporting the implementation of their cyber strategy. We enjoy close political cooperation on cyber security and provide programme support as part of this. The UK's recently announced National Cyber Strategy will be supported by £2.6 billion of fresh investment in cyber and legacy IT over the next three years, including a £114 million increase in the National Cyber Security Programme. This is in addition to investment in the National Cyber Force announced in the Spending Review 2020.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
17th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, when she last had discussions with her (a) Armenian and (b) Azerbaijani counterparts on the status of people still detained on either side as a result of the recent conflict.

In her meetings with the Armenian and Azerbaijani Foreign Ministers, on 4 and 17 November 2021 respectively, the former Minister for Europe and Americas raised the importance of the return of all prisoners of war and detainees. I will continue to raise this important issue in my future engagements with representatives of the Armenian and Azerbaijani governments. The UK Government continues to support the efforts of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs to facilitate discussions with a view to settling all outstanding matters related to the conflict.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
11th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent assessment she has made of the effect of the fire at the Rohingya refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh.

We are deeply saddened by the recent fire in the Rohingya refugee camp 16 in Cox's Bazar, which has affected approximately 2,000 people and damaged shelters, water and sanitation facilities, and learning centres. Lord Ahmad, the Minister for South Asia, tweeted his condolences to those impacted by the fire on 10 January. We are providing immediate support to the UN to replenish destroyed stoves and cooking gas, and to rehabilitate camp infrastructure. We stand ready to provide further humanitarian assistance once the UN concludes the needs assessment.

Amanda Milling
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
12th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps she has taken to raise the case of Kakwenza Rukirabashaija with the Government of Uganda.

We are concerned that the Ugandan novelist, Kakwenza Rukirabashija, following a series of tweets, was detained at his home on 28 December 2021 and then held without charge for 14 days at an unknown facility. Using legislation, such as the Computer Misuse Act, to stifle freedom of expression is very worrying. We welcome the decisions of the Chief Magistrate's Court and the High Court in relation to Rukirabashija's release and habeas corpus. We note, however, that Rukirabashija was subsequently charged and placed on remand.

We urge the Government of Uganda to ensure that the rule of law is upheld as a vital component of democracy. Rukirabashija must be afforded all of his rights under the Constitution of Uganda, including access to legal representation. I (Minister for Africa) expressed the importance of upholding human rights with the President of Uganda during my visit to Uganda on 19 January 2022. Our High Commission in Kampala issued a tweet on 7 January publicly stating our concern over Rukirabashija's continued detention. The High Commission has also set out our concerns over his detention with the Government of Uganda, Uganda's human rights institutions and the security services. We have urged all to ensure that Uganda honours its constitutional commitments and international human rights law.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
12th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent assessment she has made of any disproportionality in the impact on women and girls of recent rises in the prices of basic foodstuffs.

Conflict, climate change and now Covid-19 have caused food insecurity and acute hunger to reach record levels. Agriculture investment has plummeted, and recovery is not yet visible. Food prices have risen above a 10-year high. The poor are highly vulnerable to food price inflation, and within that are women who are traditionally land poor and more dependent on the informal economy or in poorly paid, precarious jobs.

The UK provides humanitarian aid but also invests in building resilience to crises and supporting sustainable recovery. We provided assistance to 40 countries to help adapting social protection in response to COVID-19, integrating gender equality and social inclusion to support women and girls and other groups disproportionately impacted by the crisis.

The FCDO also adapted ongoing programmes, preventing countries from deteriorating into full-blown emergency and influenced partners, including to promote women's economic empowerment. For example:

  • FCDO's CASA programme works to improve food security by attracting investment into the agri-food sector and helping to keep food supply chains flowing. Women account for nearly half of the farmers reached.
  • The multilateral GAFSP has adapted its commitments to mitigating COVID-19 impacts and build resilience for the most vulnerable. In 2021 the total share of women reached has increased to 38%, while 54% of the full-time equivalent jobs created has gone to women.
Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
12th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if she will make an assessment of the potential risks to UK influence in (a) South Africa and (b) other African countries of continued participation in UK public procurement by Bain and Company.

The UK's Integrated Review sets out the UK Government's approach to fighting corruption and illicit finance as threats to democratic values and open societies around the world. We are fully committed to driving forward this commitment in South Africa and across the African continent, including through our law enforcement agencies. In South Africa, President Ramaphosa has identified the fight against corruption as one of his top priorities; we are working in close partnership with his government on this agenda. As an example of our commitment to tackling corruption in South Africa, in May 2021 under the UK Global Anti-Corruption Sanctions regime, the UK imposed sanctions against Ajay Gupta, Atul Gupta, Rajesh Gupta and Salim Essa for their roles in serious corruption. As a long-standing friend of South Africa, the UK will continue to engage the South African authorities, business and civil society on a shared agenda of security, economic and social issues including in light of the conclusions of the Zondo Report. We will, of course, also consider carefully any implications for UK public procurement.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
10th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to Contract Reference 283290/1030331 concerning the use of Heathrow Airport's VIP suites, how many of the 50 of her Department's movements through that airport between 1 September 2021 and 31 August 2022 are planned to be made by (a) herself and (b) other Ministers in her Department.

The contract with Heathrow Airport does not cover movements by UK Ministers.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
10th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether her Department has had any (a) financial contract and (b) meetings with (i) Clifford Chance LLP, (ii) FTI Consulting and (iii) Fenchurch Advisory Partners in the last five years; and if she will make a statement.

Details of Government contracts above £10,000 are published on Contracts Finder: https://www.contractsfinder.service.gov.uk/Search

Details of ministerial meetings are published quarterly and can be found on GOV.UK.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
13th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what plans she has to convene a UN-backed pledging conference to raise funds for humanitarian aid in Afghanistan.

We understand that the UN will be organising an international pledging conference in the coming months, which we fully support.

The UK remains fully committed to supporting Afghanistan and we have already announced a doubling of our humanitarian aid and development assistance commitment to £286 million. We have now disbursed over £145 million which will support over 3.4 million people in Afghanistan and the region, providing emergency food, health, shelter, water and protection.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
11th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with the government of Brazil about effective protection of the indigenous tribes of the Amazon rainforest, in particular in relation to Land Protection Orders; and what plans they have to call for Emergency Orders to protect any (1) un-contacted tribes, and (2) un-demarcated tribal lands.

The UK regularly engages with indigenous leaders and civil society organisations regarding the Amazon. Senior HMG officials discussed the indigenous lands' situation with Brazilian authorities most recently in December 2021. We have hosted indigenous leaders at our Embassy in Brasilia and we are in contact with the Brazilian National Foundation for Indigenous People (FUNAI), which is responsible for promoting indigenous people's rights and territorial protection in Brazil. The UK is committed to defending and promoting the human rights of all, and we will continue to monitor developments around indigenous land rights in Brazil.

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)