Baroness Sheehan Portrait

Baroness Sheehan

Liberal Democrat - Life peer

Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (International Development)

(since October 2016)
EU Energy and Environment Sub-Committee
14th Dec 2015 - 2nd Jul 2019


Scheduled Event
Thursday 17th June 2021
Oral questions - Main Chamber
When testing for COVID-19 was offered as a matter of policy to those leaving hospitals and going to care homes
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Select Committee Meeting
Tuesday 29th June 2021
10:00
Division Votes
Thursday 10th June 2021
Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development etc.) (England) (Amendment) Order 2021
voted Aye - in line with the party majority
One of 72 Liberal Democrat Aye votes vs 0 Liberal Democrat No votes
Tally: Ayes - 104 Noes - 241
Speeches
Thursday 10th June 2021
Official Development Assistance

My Lords, how will the plethora of cut programmes be reinstated once the temporary cuts to the aid budget are …

Written Answers
Thursday 10th June 2021
Israel: Palestinians
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of (1) the sustainability of their position in support of …
Early Day Motions
None available
Bills
Wednesday 15th January 2020
Petroleum (Amendment) Bill [HL] 2019-21
A Bill to prohibit licensing to search and bore for petroleum and onshore hydraulic fracturing activities; to amend the principal …
Tweets
None available
MP Financial Interests
None available

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Baroness Sheehan has voted in 164 divisions, and never against the majority of their Party.
View All Baroness Sheehan Division Votes

Debates during the 2019 Parliament

Speeches made during Parliamentary debates are recorded in Hansard. For ease of browsing we have grouped debates into individual, departmental and legislative categories.

Sparring Partners
Baroness Sugg (Conservative)
(24 debate interactions)
Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon (Conservative)
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
(21 debate interactions)
Lord Bethell (Conservative)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
(21 debate interactions)
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Department Debates
Department of Health and Social Care
(20 debate contributions)
Home Office
(8 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Baroness Sheehan's debates

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Baroness Sheehan, and are more likely to reflect personal policy preferences.

MPs who are act as Ministers or Shadow Ministers are generally restricted from performing Commons initiatives other than Urgent Questions.


Baroness Sheehan has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Baroness Sheehan has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

1 Bill introduced by Baroness Sheehan


A Bill to prohibit licensing to search and bore for petroleum and onshore hydraulic fracturing activities; to amend the principal objective for the Oil and Gas Authority to be to meet the carbon reduction target for ​2050 under the Climate Change Act 2008; and to provide for the Oil and Gas Authority to produce strategies which include the phasing out of the extraction and use of petroleum and transitional planning towards renewable energies


Last Event - 1st Reading (Lords)
Wednesday 15th January 2020
(Read Debate)

Baroness Sheehan has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting


93 Written Questions in the current parliament

(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
1 Other Department Questions
14th Dec 2020
To ask the Leader of the House what plans there are for consideration of Private Members' Bills to resume.

I expect private members’ bills to start being considered again in early 2021.

Baroness Evans of Bowes Park
Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal
5th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether charities based in the UK which advocate for street children are include in the support being offered to small and medium enterprises during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A £750 million funding package announced on 8 April is aimed at charities who provide frontline services to vulnerable people affected by the pandemic in the UK. The Government funding will be allocated based on evidence of service need. There are three tranches of money;

  • £360m from individual government departments to charities in England based on evidence of service need;
  • £370m for small and medium-sized charities (£60m through the Devolved Administrations) will provide support for thousands of charities on the frontline of helping vulnerable people affected by Covid-19.
  • Match funding of the, so far, £35m raised during the BBC’s Big Night In. The first £20m of this will go to the National Emergencies Trust and the remaining will go through the BBC charities who will be administering this funding.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government is providing £6 million of emergency funding to homelessness charities directly affected by the coronavirus. The funding will be distributed to local frontline homelessness services via the charity Homeless Link and will support organisations at risk of having to cut services and staff or cease operations due to the pandemic. Applications are now open via the Homeless Link website.

Charities are also eligible for support under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS). CBILS provides businesses with annual turnover of under £45m with access to working capital of up to £5m. It supports a wide range of business finance products, including term loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance facilities. Since Monday 27 April, registered charities have been exempted from the requirement that the applicant derives at least 50% of its income from trading activity.

Charities are also eligible for the Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS), which launched on Monday 4 May and supports the smallest SMEs by providing loans from £2,000 up to 25% of the business’ turnover with a maximum loan size of £50,000. By providing lenders with a 100% government-backed guarantee and standardising the application form, businesses and charities applying for these loans could receive them within days.

Further details on CBILS and BBLS can be found on GOV.UK or the British Business Bank website.

On 1 May, my Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy announced that a further up to £617 million is being made available to Local Authorities in England to allow them to provide discretionary grants. It is the Government’s intention that charity properties in receipt of charitable business rates relief should be considered as one of the priority businesses for these funds.

Any enquiries regarding eligibility for, or provision of the Small Business Grant Fund should be directed to the relevant local authority.

These schemes are part of a wider package of measures designed to support small businesses and charities facing difficulties in this period of uncertainty, which for charities could include, for example, the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, the Tax Deferral scheme, a temporary freeze on evictions and the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
22nd Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they imposed any public interest conditions to the £14 million granted to the 21 new coronavirus research projects that were announced on 17 April.

These projects were funded through a joint UKRI-DHSC rapid response call that was launched in February 2020 and has since announced a total of £24.6m worth of funding for 27 projects. Of the 21 projects announced on 17 April, 20 projects will receive their grants through UKRI terms and conditions which can be found on the UKRI website.

In addition to this, as researchers undertaking work relevant to public health emergencies they are required to set in place mechanisms to share quality-assured interim and final data as rapidly and widely as possible, including with public health and research communities and the World Health Organization in accordance with the Joint statement on sharing research data and findings relevant to the novel coronavirus outbreak. This can be viewed on the Wellcome website.

The project contracted by DHSC was under standard policy research programme terms available from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) website. This contract has a range of terms that allow DHSC to ensure that public interest is delivered by the research.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
24th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what savings will make up the £2.9 billion package of reductions to the Government’s planned Official Development Assistance spend for 2020 announced by the First Secretary of State on 22 July, including (1) forecast underspends, (2) delays to planned activity, and (3) cancellation of planned spending.

The First Secretary led a careful review process to look at every strand of the ODA budget and assess the impacts of spend. Ministers prioritised programmes based on strategic objectives such as poverty reduction for the ‘bottom billion’, tackling climate change and reversing biodiversity loss, championing girls’ education, and the global response to Covid-19. Currently we are discussing specific savings with suppliers and partners and we will publish the revised ODA allocations in due course after this process has been completed.

24th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government by what process they reached decisions on the £2.9 billion package of reductions to the Government’s planned Official Development Assistance spend for 2020 announced by the First Secretary of State on 22 July.

The First Secretary of State, supported by the International Development Secretary and ministers from ODA spending departments, led a cross government review to identify reductions in this year’s ODA budget needed to meet the 0.7% commitment. The careful review process looked at every strand of the ODA budget and assess the impacts of spend. Several review sessions were held in which Ministers prioritised programmes based on strategic objectives such as poverty reduction for the ‘bottom billion’, tackling climate change and reversing biodiversity loss, championing girls’ education, and the global response to Covid-19.

24th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to ensure that cuts made as part of the £2.9 billion package of reductions to the Government’s planned Official Development Assistance spend for 2020 announced by the First Secretary of State on 22 July will focus on programmes that have been found to be less effective in achieving poverty reduction.

The First Secretary led a careful review process to look at every strand of the ODA budget and assess the impacts of spend. ODA spend for 2020 was prioritised to focus on key strategic objectives including poverty reduction for the ‘bottom billion’, tackling climate change and reversing biodiversity loss, championing girls’ education, UK leadership in the global response to Covid-19, and protecting the UK’s science base. These priorities will help the government to deliver our manifesto commitments and ensure that the UK is a global force for good.

24th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the First Secretary of State’s announcement of a £2.9 billion package of reductions to the Government’s planned Official Development Assistance (ODA) spend for 2020 on 22 July, what arrangements they have put in place to tailor ODA spending further during the remaining months of the year.

The Department, working with HM Treasury and other Government departments, is continually planning to ensure the UK meets its Official Development Assistance (ODA) commitment. As normal, there will continue to be adjustments in-year to individual departmental ODA spend to meet the 0.7% target. DFID has been preparing for this by working with our Ministers and other aid spending Departments to prioritise our lifesaving aid, stop the spread of coronavirus and ensure our aid delivers the best value for money for the British taxpayer.

10th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that an inclusive approach, which includes older people, to humanitarian responses will continue to be one of the priorities of the new Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office.

The UK is committed to ensuring that our assistance reaches the most marginalised and vulnerable people who will be the worst affected by humanitarian crises and most at risk. This includes older people as well as other marginalised groups, such as women and girls, and people with disabilities.

We are deeply concerned about the significant impact of COVID-19 on older people, people with disabilities, and other marginalised groups. Through £50 million of support to over 29 countries, UK aid is helping to meet the needs of the most vulnerable groups, including older people, through effective communication about personal hygiene, particularly the importance of handwashing. DFID is also engaging internationally to push for greater consideration of vulnerable groups, including older people, across the COVID-19 response.

Support for the most marginalised and vulnerable populations remains part of this government’s mission. We will continue to prioritise those furthest left behind and champion the inclusion of vulnerable groups in our humanitarian responses.

20th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what action they are taking to support less economically developed countries to remove all financial barriers to healthcare to deliver free testing and treatment for COVID-19.

The UK champions universal health coverage (UHC) as vital to ensuring access to quality essential health services for all and helping to protect everyone from infectious diseases, including COVID-19. UHC includes ensuring that no one is impoverished through paying for health services and reducing financial barriers to access especially for the poorest and most vulnerable. Our programmes help poor and vulnerable people to meet food and other basic needs including direct and indirect costs of health care, such as transport so they can access essential health services.

The UK has, so far, pledged £764 million of UK aid to help end the COVID-19 pandemic, in support of the coordinated international response through the international financing institutions, multilaterals and global health initiatives, and DFID programmes. This is to meet the urgent health, humanitarian and economic needs of vulnerable people in developing countries. This funding includes up to £40 million to the Wellcome Therapeutics Accelerator and up to £23 million to the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics, both of which are central to efforts to accelerate development and access to new COVID-19 treatments and tests.

20th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what proportion of the £744 million in aid they have committed to address COVID-19 has been allocated to provide frontline assistance to less economically developed countries.

We have committed up to £764 million of UK aid funding to date, to support global efforts to combat COVID-19.

This includes up to £296 million to support and enhance resilience in vulnerable countries, encompassing:

  • £145 million for UN appeals including: £75 million for the WHO; £20 million for UNICEF, £5 million for Education Cannot Wait, £20 million for the UN Refugee Agency; £15 million for the World Food Programme; and £10 million to UNFPA to provide lifesaving SRHR and gender based violence prevention.
  • £55 million to International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement appeals to provide medical supplies and equipment to hospitals and clinics and the building of quarantine areas and disinfection facilities.
  • £20 million for international NGO’s including UK charities using British expertise and experience to tackle COVID-19.
  • £50 million DFID funding matched with Unilever, advising one billion people about the importance of hygiene and the distribution of over 20 million products.
  • £6 million for medical and humanitarian expertise including the deployment of medical specialists from the UK Emergency Medical Team to vulnerable African countries.
  • Up to £20 million in the African Union’s new COVID-19 Response Fund to tackle the virus and save lives.

We have also provided up to £150 million of UK aid funding to the IMF’s Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust to help developing countries meet their debt repayments so that they can focus their available resources on tackling COVID-19.

5th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking, through the UN, to reinforce the need for formal registration documents for each child so that in times of crisis children with no fixed household can be identified.

The Government is committed to supporting efforts to meet Sustainable Development Goal 16.9 which aims to provide legal identity for all, including birth registration, by 2030. The Government continues to advocate for the issuance of civil documentation in specific post-conflict countries through UN mechanisms, including the Security Council Working Group for Children and Armed Conflict.

Last year DFID approved a four-year £15 million Digital Identity as an Enabler for Development programme to support the World Bank Group’s Identification for Development initiative to implement trusted, secure, universal and inclusive digital Identification and civil registration systems from birth to death in over 40 countries.

Children on the Move is a DFID-funded 3-year programme (2017-2020) working with UNICEF to help children on the move in Somalia, Ethiopia and Sudan. In Somalia the work includes providing children with a legal identity, without which they are at a greater risk of family separation, trafficking and illegal adoption. In 2019, 101,300 children were provided with legal identity documents including a birth certificate.

As well as this, some of the £30 million which DFID is providing to the Global Financing Facility (GFF) supports birth registration in DRC, Kenya, Liberia, Rwanda and Uganda.

28th Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to educate and inform Rohingya refugees in the Kutupalong Camp about the COVID-19 pandemic.

The UK is reaching refugees with information and support to reduce rumours, myths, fear and panic about COVID-19, through the Communications with Communities Working Group. This includes a large array of methods to disseminate messages to refugees and the host community including community meetings where possible; radio, posters and leaflets, videos, loudspeakers and information service centres. Messages are being endorsed by the Cox’s Bazar Civil Surgeon, translated into the Rohingya language and Bangla, and are being developed in consultation with Rohingya people, including religious leaders, to ensure they are effective. Child-friendly messaging is also being used.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
28th Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any to provide additional support to Rohingya children in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The UK is working with partners to support and protect Rohingya children whose parents or care-givers become sick or die from COVID-19. This includes identifying temporary carers within the same camp block for children at risk of being left alone. These efforts are building on existing foster and child protection systems and will increase the number of Child Protection Volunteers within the Rohingya community in the camps. Although schools in the camps are closed, every effort will be made to get them up and running again as quickly as possible, and to ensure children return to education.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
28th Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the availability of aid workers in the Kutupalong refugee camp; and what action, if any, they are taking as a result.

Cox’s Bazar District, where the Rohingya refugee camps are located, is subject to lockdown measures to help prevent the transmission of COVID-19. In addition, on World Health Organization advice, the Bangladeshi Government has instructed a reduction in humanitarian activity to an agreed list of critical (lifesaving) services. This means that fewer aid workers than normal are entering the refugee camps. For example, essential site management activities continue, but staff are reduced to 20% of their usual number. There are no education facilities open at the moment. However, critical UKAid funded services such as food and medical aid continue to be delivered to support the daily needs of refugees, including by refugee volunteers themselves. We consider this temporary reduction in staff accessing the camp a challenging, but important measure to try to prevent or at least delay the transmission of the virus in the camps. Social distancing arrangements have been put in place to prevent the possible spread of COVID-19 between humanitarian workers, and to provide medical care for those on the humanitarian frontline, coordinated by IOM. We are closely monitoring the situation, including access issues, and working with our humanitarian partners to best protect and prepare the Rohingya and host communities for an outbreak and to maintain critical services and assistance.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
28th Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of child trafficking and child marriage in Rohingya refugee camps; and what action, if any, they are taking as a result.

Approximately 40% of trafficking survivors in the Rohingya refugee camps are children, predominantly girls. Girls are at risk of early marriage both within the camps and through trafficking.

Irregular movements are not new to Cox’s Bazar district or Bangladesh, which is on the US’ Tier 2 Watch List for Trafficking in Persons. The UK has contributed significantly to the protection sector within the humanitarian response, through partners including the International Organisation for Migration, UN High Commissioner for Refugees and the UN Children’s Fund. Our support helps to raise awareness about the risks of trafficking and build capacity among law enforcement to prevent it. UK funding also supports efforts to identify and provide direct assistance to victims of trafficking, such as safe shelters, psycho-social support, and social workers for children.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
28th Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to help the boats of Rohingya refugees that have been turned away from Bangladesh and Malaysia.

We are extremely concerned about the reports of hundreds of Rohingya still at sea and reports of failure to disembark vessels in distress. I have raised this with the Bangladesh Foreign Minister and with the Bangladesh High Commissioner in London. In addition, the British High Commission in Dhaka have raised this issue with the Government of Bangladesh. We continue to urge the Governments of Bangladesh, Thailand, Malaysia and other governments in the region to assist boats carrying Rohingya refugees to land.

We are working with UN partners, including the International Organisation for Migration and UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), to find out more and provide live-saving action where possible. The UN are already providing shelter and assistance to survivors from the boat which reached Bangladesh on 16 April and stand ready to help any further refugees who make it ashore. We agree with UNHCR that there is a need for greater coordination and responsibility-sharing by states to address the maritime movements of refugees and asylum-seekers in the Bay of Bengal and Andaman Sea. The UK is committed to protecting the Rohingya community, some of the world’s most vulnerable peoples.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
22nd Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the Department for International Development attached any public interest conditions to the £250 million granted to the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations for the development of a COVID-19 vaccine.

The UK is leading international efforts to develop a COVID-19 vaccine that is equitable and accessible.

Following a virtual summit of G20 leaders on the 26 March, the UK Prime Minister called on governments to work together to develop a vaccine as quickly as possible and make it available to anyone who needs it. As subsequently agreed by the G20, we support a global approach to the rapid development and scaled up manufacture of vaccines that are equitable and accessible. We are working with technical partners and WHO to support an approach to Research & Development, regulation and funding that will deliver that.

Our £250 million funding to the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) is the biggest donation of any country to date. CEPI is an innovative partnership between public, private, philanthropic, and civil society organisations, to develop vaccines to stop future epidemics. CEPI is leading the international coordination of vaccine research, making sure that the best experts from around the world get the investments they need to make rapid progress on a vaccine for this COVID-19 pandemic.

Furthermore, the UK is also the largest funder to Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. Gavi will play a key role in working with CEPI to make a new coronavirus vaccine available and affordable.

22nd Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to support the creation of an international pooling mechanism for COVID-19 research set up by the World Health Organization.

The UK has long supported affordable and equitable access to essential medicines, vaccines and other health commodities, here in the UK and globally.

Measures to ensure access to products that may emerge from research include voluntary patent sharing and licensing, whereby patent holders allow others to manufacture, import, and/ or distribute their patented products to accelerate entry of generic medicines to market, pooled procurement and sharing and information exchange.

We are committed to collaborating with public and private partners in the UK and internationally, including exploring voluntary arrangements, such as existing mechanisms, to accelerate development and equitable access in all countries to affordable health technologies for responding to COVID-19. The shape of any agreements are being explored.

DFID is supporting global co-ordinating efforts through our support to the WHO R&D Blueprint. The Blueprint aims to accelerate research and innovation to contain the spread of the pandemic and ensure that those affected receive optimal care. This includes support to the ‘Solidarity’ trials which is testing four existing anti-viral agents or combinations which exist already that could be effective against COVID-19.

21st Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to concentrate their international response to COVID-19 in low- and middle-income countries on those who are 60 years old and above.

We recognise that that older people, people with disabilities, people with pre-existing conditions, and those with complex needs are disproportionately impacted and at more serious risk of severe complications and fatality due to COVID-19. We are working hard to ensure that our help reaches those most in need, including older people, through close collaboration with our partners.

Our funding is supporting a range of initiatives and partners to ensure that it can reach those in need and strengthening fragile health services in the world’s poorest countries where there is a high chance of the disease spreading rapidly.

This includes supporting the United Nation’s Global Humanitarian Response Plan to tackle COVID-19 and help to the most vulnerable across the globe. The plan explicitly identifies older people given their susceptibility to the virus and their broader vulnerability. Our latest UK aid announcement on 12 April of £200 million, is supporting humanitarian organisations to help reduce mass infections in developing countries that often lack the healthcare systems to track and halt the virus. This includes £130 million to UN agencies in response to their COVID-19 humanitarian appeals.

In order to reduce transmission, the UK government is also working with Unilever to fund a £100 million global hygiene programme. This campaign will be tailored to communities to ensure messages are inclusive and effective. It will reach up to a billion people worldwide, raising awareness and changing behaviour, to make sure that people are washing their hands with soap regularly and disinfecting surfaces. The programme will also provide over 20 million hygiene products in the developing world, including in areas where there is little or no sanitation.

In addition, we are redirecting existing support and programmes to be more responsive to COVID-19.

21st Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that older people in low- and middle-income countries have access to the information they need to minimise the risk of COVID-19.

We recognise that that older people are disproportionately impacted and at more risk of severe complications and death due to COVID-19. As well as the immediate risk of catching COVID-19, marginalised groups also experience secondary impacts of the virus. This includes reduced access to healthcare services and information, which is further compounded by existing accessibility barriers.

For example, healthcare information is not routinely distributed in accessible formats. Older people with visual impairments will need access to large print documentation, or may need other alternative communication methods that fit best with their needs. We are working hard to ensure that our help reaches those most in need, including older people, through close collaboration with our partners.

Our funding is supporting a range of initiatives and partners to ensure that it can reach those in need and strengthen fragile health services in the world’s poorest countries where there is a high risk of the disease spreading rapidly. This includes supporting the United Nation’s Global Humanitarian Response Plan to tackle COVID-19 and help to the most vulnerable across the globe. The plan explicitly identifies older people given their susceptibility to the virus and their broader vulnerability. Our latest UK aid announcement on 12 April of £200 million, is supporting humanitarian organisations to help reduce mass infections in developing countries that often lack the healthcare systems to track and halt the virus. This includes £130 million to UN agencies in response to their COVID-19 humanitarian appeals.

To help reduce transmission and inform the public, the UK government is also working with Unilever to fund a £100 million global hygiene programme. This campaign will be tailored to communities to ensure messages are inclusive and effective. It will reach up to a billion people worldwide, raising awareness and changing behaviour, to make sure that people are washing their hands with soap regularly and disinfecting surfaces. The programme will also provide over 20 million hygiene products in the developing world, including in areas where there is little or no sanitation.

In addition, we are redirecting existing support and programmes ensure responses to COVID-19 are fully inclusive, including supporting the needs of older people.

23rd Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how the £46 million aid package to fight the spread of COVID-19, announced on 6 March, will be deployed to assist health systems in vulnerable countries.

The UK is at the forefront of the global response to COVID-19. We are using UK aid to its full effect to counter the health, humanitarian and economic risks of this pandemic. Since the £46 million was announced, the UK has committed further resources, up to £241 million of funding to support the global efforts to combat the outbreak of COVID-19.

These funds are supporting three main areas of work: helping developing countries manage the crisis by supporting the operations of the UN, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and the provision of expert advice; supporting the International Monetary Fund to relieve debt servicing pressures on countries struggling with the virus; and supporting international scientific efforts to develop diagnosis tests and vaccines. Furthermore, through our ongoing overseas operations, DFID is supporting programmes in over 20 countries to improve health systems, such as by building capability for health security through disease surveillance and response.

23rd Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the Department for International Development will remain the UK Government Department responsible for administering overseas aid; and whether the goal of that Department will continue to be “to promote sustainable development and eliminate world poverty”.

DFID continues to lead the UK’s work to reduce poverty and deliver the Sustainable Development Goals, maximising opportunities to work jointly with other government departments as demonstrated by the cross-Government response, jointly led by DFID and FCO, to supporting global efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. The PM has appointed a fully joint junior ministerial team, along with separate Secretaries of State for the Foreign Office and DFID, to ensure the departments will work more closely overseas to deliver the Government’s objectives. DFID ministers retain authority over decisions on DFID aid spending and accountability for all financial resources remains within existing departmental lines.

23rd Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they intend to publish the corporate report to replace the Single departmental plan: 2015 to 2020, which was withdrawn on 13 March.

Single Departmental Plans are updated annually setting out the Department’s plans to deliver the Global Goals. The most recent version was uploaded in June 2019 and can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/department-for-international-development-single-departmental-plan/department-for-international-development-single-departmental-plan--2

Plans will be updated once departments have prepared them as part of the normal government planning and performance process.

9th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what actions they are taking to protect the safety of (1) UK health workers, and (2) in-country frontline healthworkers in developing countries, following the outbreak of COVID-19.

The Government take the safety of healthcare workers very seriously. The COVID-19 Infection Prevention and Control guidance has been updated to ensure that healthcare workers are protected and all hospitals remain safe, now and in the future.

Infection prevention and control (IPC) measures are absolutely essential to ensure all healthcare workers are protected from infection with COVID-19.

The UK has announced up to £241 million of aid funding to support the global efforts to combat the outbreak of COVID-19. As part of this, we are supporting the World Health Organisation and UNICEF to strengthen infection prevention and control in health facilities, to protect health workers in developing countries.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
9th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government which countries they are prioritising for the distribution of aid to counter the effects of COVID-19.

HMG is closely monitoring the global transmission of the Covid-19, in particular the capabilities and vulnerabilities of developing countries, using the State Party Self-Assessment Annual Reporting index provided by the World Health Organisation (WHO). The UK’s global response strategy is to support the WHO and other multilateral actors to contain Covid-19 and mitigate secondary health and socio-economic impacts, especially for vulnerable populations in Low- and Middle-Income Countries. Contributing to the WHO’s appeal will enable UK aid to support a strong international response alongside other key donors.

We are targeting our efforts where we have existing capacity to maximise our impact, and working with international partners to ensure aid is effectively distributed to vulnerable countries.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
5th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the Department for International Development (DfID) will remain autonomous, following the announcement in the recent reshuffle that junior DfID and Foreign and Commonwealth ministers will have joint responsibilities.

The PM appointed separate Secretaries of State for the Foreign Office and DFID in the recent reshuffle.

The Prime Minister has also appointed a fully joint junior ministerial team to ensure DFID and the FCO will work more closely overseas to deliver the Government’s objectives.

DFID ministers retain authority over decisions on DFID aid spending and accountability for all financial resources remains within existing departmental lines.

5th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government who makes the final decision on how Official Development Assistance is disbursed within a country.

As set out in the UK Aid Strategy, each department or public body spending Official Development Assistance (ODA) is accountable for their own spend. As such, there must be clear lines of accountability for all ODA programmes. Accounting Officers of departments or public bodies whose money is being spent on ODA, need to ensure they fulfil their obligations under HMT’s Managing Public Money as they remain personally accountable for ensuring the regularity, propriety and value for money of the use of public funds. Departments must ensure that spending on ODA is within their legal spending authority, meets the OECD eligibility criteria and complies with government aid policy as outlined in the UK Aid Strategy.

5th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government who has responsibility for (1) programme design, and (2) delivery of, Official Development Assistance compliant projects; and whether that person will continue to have that responsibility.

Design and delivery of Official Development Assistance projects is the responsibility of the individual spending department.

DFID ministers retain authority over decisions on aid spending and accountability for all financial resources remains within existing departmental lines.

Departments will work more closely together overseas to deliver Her Majesty’s Government’s objectives and ensure the UK’s international operations are fully integrated.

22nd Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to approve (1) investments, (2) loans, or (3) loan guarantees, for natural gas projects in states which do not have long-term decarbonisation plans.

On 12 December 2020, the Prime Minister announced that the British government will no longer provide any new direct financial or promotional support for the fossil fuel energy sector overseas, apart from a small number of tightly-bound exceptions that are still to be determined. The date of implementation of the new policy will be determined following the consultation that was launched on the same day.

Lord Grimstone of Boscobel
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
22nd Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to continue (1) to provide export finance support to, and (2) to make investments in, overseas fossil fuel projects in states which do not have long-term decarbonisation plans in line with the UN Paris Agreement.

On 12 December 2020, the Prime Minister announced that the British government will no longer provide any new direct financial or promotional support for the fossil fuel energy sector overseas, apart from a small number of tightly-bound exceptions that are still to be determined. The date of implementation of the new policy will be determined following the consultation that was launched on the same day.

Lord Grimstone of Boscobel
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
11th Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of the total carbon emissions associated with fossil fuel projects funded through (1) Official Development Assistance, and (2) UK Export Finance, in (a) 2018, (b) 2019, and (c) 2020.

UK Export Finance (UKEF) defines fossil fuels projects as those related to the extraction, production, transportation and refining of crude oil, natural gas or coal and fossil-fuel fired power stations.

Until 31 March 2020 UKEF’s collected projected annual operational CO2-equivalent (CO2e) Scope 1 and Scope 2* emissions of projects only where they fell under the scope of the OECD Council Recommendation on Common Approaches for Officially Supported Export Credits and Environmental and Social Due Diligence (OECD Common Approaches) or the Equator Principles and where they were expected to exceed 25 000 tonnes CO2e annually. The table below is compiled on that basis and uses the latest emissions data known to UKEF for the total carbon emissions associated with fossil fuel projects funded through UKEF in 2018, 2019 and 2020:

(*Scope 1 emissions are direct emissions from owned or controlled sources. Scope 2 emissions are indirect emissions from the generation of purchased energy.)

Projects currently in operations phase (operational carbon emissions)

Financial Year UKEF funding agreed (signed)

UKEF support effective (funding provided)

Estimated carbon emissions in tonnes of CO2e per annum

2018

Yes

18,030,000

2020

No

26,804,725

Estimated emissions for projects supported but not yet in operation (still in construction phase, hence no actual operational carbon emissions to date)

Financial Year UKEF funding agreed (signed)

UKEF support effective (funding provided)

Estimated carbon emissions in tonnes of CO2e per annum during future operations

2018

Yes

15,257,820

2019

Yes

8,178,670

2020

No

3,600,000

With regards to the period from 1 April 2020, emissions information has not yet been collated within UKEF, but UKEF will make climate-related financial disclosures in its
accounts, in line with the Taskforce on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures’ (TCFD’s) recommendations, as soon as practicable following the close of the 2020/21 financial year. For 2020-21 this disclosure will include the type of emissions data described above and in addition will include information on UKEF's governance, strategy, risk management, and metrics and targets regarding climate change financial risks.

We do not hold data for estimated carbon emissions associated with past fossil fuel projects funded through Official Development Assistance (ODA).

Lord Grimstone of Boscobel
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
6th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what restrictions they have placed, or plan to put in place, on the export of testing kits and requisite materials to countries in Africa.

The Department for International Trade has not introduced any trade restrictions on the export of testing kits and requisite materials to countries in Africa.

Lord Grimstone of Boscobel
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
3rd Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they were represented at the 3rd Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety, held in February; and if so, whether they signed the Stockholm Declaration on road safety.

I attended the Global Ministerial Conference in Stockholm last month. The Stockholm Declaration was presented at the conference and the UK supports its aims on road safety. It was not signed by the attendees to the Conference.

The Stockholm Declaration is expected to be presented at the UN General Assembly in April for debate. It may be amended from its current form, before being the basis for adoption as a resolution.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
3rd Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they intend to adopt the resolutions within the Stockholm Declaration on road safety arising out of the 3rd Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety.

The UK supports the aims of the Stockholm Declaration on road safety. The UK is already committed to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and already adopts a safe systems approach.

The Stockholm Declaration is expected to be presented at the UN General Assembly in April for debate. It may be amended from its current form, before being the basis for adoption as a resolution.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
18th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of (1) the implications of the emergence of variants of COVID-19, and (2) the potential for future mutations of that virus; and what plans they have made for the rapid acquisition of any re-purposed vaccine that may be needed.

There is currently no evidence that the vaccines do not work against the new strains but our experts are examining this closely. The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is in discussion with vaccine manufacturers on potential modifications to current vaccines that may improve their effectiveness against new virus variants, if required. The MHRA will continue to process any application rapidly and rigorously, seeking advice from its independent expert committee, the Commission on Human Medicines and authorise any new variant vaccine as soon as data on safety, quality and efficacy are satisfactory.

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
5th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they plan to publish daily data on the number of people vaccinated by (1) the Pfizer/BioNTech, and (2) the Oxford/Astrazeneca, vaccine.

The Government has no plans to publish daily data on the number of people vaccinated by the Pfizer/BioNTech and Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine. Daily data on the number of people vaccinated is published in an online only format.

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
5th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the factors which they consider will most limit the roll out of the Oxford/Astrazeneca vaccine at scale; and what such factors they have identified.

We have invested over £300 million towards manufacturing and deploying successful vaccines in the United Kingdom, including ensuring we have adequate provision, transportation, personal protective equipment, and logistical expertise to do so.

All vaccines will present different logistical requirements, but the National Health Service has planned for all eventualities, including securing additional fridges to support the deployment of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine.

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
30th Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the special needs of people with hearing loss in NHS hospitals when they are (1) acutely ill, and (2) at risk of death.

No such assessment has been made. However, all National Health Service hospitals are legally required to identify the support needs of patients with a disability, impairment or sensory loss and put in place reasonable adjustments to meet specific needs. This requirement, set out in the Accessible Information Standard, includes people with hearing loss.

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to set up a working group to address the needs of people experiencing long-term health effects of COVID-19.

We have held discussions with interested stakeholders, including clinicians, academics and researchers, to better understand and mitigate the long-term impacts of COVID-19. Further discussions have been held between senior clinicians to review the different options to provide longer-term support of people who have had COVID-19.

To ensure the best use of National Health Service resources for clinical research during the acute phase of the pandemic, the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) established a single United Kingdom-wide process to prioritise COVID-19 research as Urgent Public Health Research. Through this process, the NIHR Clinical Research Network is providing support to expedite delivery of Urgent Public Health Research, by fast tracking the local set-up, management and delivery of studies to help understand, prevent and manage COVID-19. This includes the Post-HOSPitalisation COVID-19 study, led by the University of Leicester, to understand and improve long-term outcomes for survivors following hospitalisation with COVID-19. The research currently underway will continue to inform future NHS service design and provision.

In July, we launched the new ‘Your COVID Recovery’ service, which forms part of NHS plans to expand access to COVID-19 rehabilitation treatments for those who have survived the virus but still have problems with breathing, mental health problems or other complications. Alongside bringing back non-urgent services in a safe way and maintaining a high state of readiness for any future increase in COVID-19 cases, local health leaders are currently working with councils and voluntary groups to plan how they will meet the additional ongoing demand for rehabilitation services post-COVID-19.

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to introduce ‘step-in’ rights as a condition to granting COVID-19 research funding for the issuing of non-exclusive licenses if a licensing partner fails to comply with the requirements of providing the health technology at an affordable and fair price.

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) contract, used to fund some COVID-19 research, contains a licence back to the Department – known as a ‘step-in right’. This contractual right enables the Department to use, and sub-license to others, all intellectual property created with its funding, and any related intellectual property owned by another party who is contributing to the research project. For COVID-19 research, the Department can exercise the right where the Department is in a position to use or promote the outputs of the funded research in order to achieve ‘Patient Benefit’, including the prevention, treatment or management of any threat to public health.

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
26th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of (1) the sustainability of their position in support of a two state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and (2) the impact on that sustainability of recognising Palestine as a state.

The Foreign Secretary visited Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories on 25 and 26 May. During his visit the Foreign Secretary met Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and reiterated the UK's firm commitment to the two-state solution as the best way to permanently end the occupation, deliver Palestinian self-determination and preserve Israel's security and democratic identity.

The UK will recognise a Palestinian state at a time when it best serves the objective of peace. Bilateral recognition in itself cannot end the occupation. Without a negotiated settlement the occupation and the problems that come with it will continue. We continue to work closely with international partners to advocate for a two-state solution and encourage a return to meaningful negotiations between both parties.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
24th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of reductions in the Overseas Development Assistance Budget on donations to organisations bringing humanitarian aid to Gaza.

Allocation decisions have been taken by Ministers in line with the objectives set out in the Integrated Review. Ministers were appraised of qualitative analysis, sectoral analysis of thematic trends, and further quantitative analysis of draft business plans to assess the impacts of ODA reductions. Ministers have also considered the impact on FCDO's supply partners, drawing on FCDO programme managers' advice on how best to manage reductions to specific programmes.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
17th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what they consider necessary to achieve a long-term resolution to the conflict in Israel and Palestine

The recent violence across Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories demonstrates the urgent need to make progress towards peace. The UK worked actively to urge the parties to work with mediators towards an immediate ceasefire. We also fully supported Egyptian, Qatari and UN efforts to that end, working closely with the US. The UK welcomes the announcement of a ceasefire in Israel and Gaza on 20 May, which is an important step to ending the cycle of violence and loss of civilian life.

We agree with President Biden's recent remarks that Palestinians and Israelis equally deserve to live safely and securely and to enjoy equal measures of freedom, prosperity, and democracy. Our long-standing objective is a negotiated two-state solution which will allow Palestinians and Israelis to live in peace, lessening the likelihood of politically driven violence and incitement to violence. We continue to believe that the best way to advance a two state solution is through dialogue. We therefore urge all sides to show maximum restraint and refrain from taking actions which endanger civilians and make peace more difficult.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
17th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to make a statement that the Palestinians under occupation are entitled to security and self-defence.

The recent violence across Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories demonstrates the urgent need to make progress towards peace. The UK worked actively to urge the parties to work with mediators towards an immediate ceasefire. We also fully supported Egyptian, Qatari and UN efforts to that end, working closely with the US. The UK welcomes the announcement of a ceasefire in Israel and Gaza on 20 May, which is an important step to ending the cycle of violence and loss of civilian life.

We agree with President Biden's recent remarks that Palestinians and Israelis equally deserve to live safely and securely and to enjoy equal measures of freedom, prosperity, and democracy. Our long-standing objective is a negotiated two-state solution which will allow Palestinians and Israelis to live in peace, lessening the likelihood of politically driven violence and incitement to violence. We continue to believe that the best way to advance a two state solution is through dialogue. We therefore urge all sides to show maximum restraint and refrain from taking actions which endanger civilians and make peace more difficult.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
11th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they will take to protect Palestinians from being evicted from their homes in Sheik Jarrah, East Jerusalem, to make way for Israeli settlers.

The UK regularly raises forced evictions of Palestinians from property with the Government of Israel. The Fourth Geneva Convention, which applies to all occupied territories, prohibits demolitions or forced evictions absent military necessity. The UK is clear that in all but the most exceptional of circumstances, evictions are contrary to International Humanitarian Law. The practice causes unnecessary suffering to Palestinians and is harmful to efforts to promote peace.

The Minister of State for the Middle East and North Africa tweeted on the 8 May outlining our concern over tensions in Jerusalem linked to the threatened eviction of Palestinian families from their homes in Sheikh Jarrah. We continue to urge Israel to cease such actions. UK Officials at the British Embassy in Tel Aviv continue to raise the issue regularly with the Israeli Authorities.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
11th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they will take to protect the rights of Palestinians to peacefully demonstrate against the restrictions imposed on them by the government of Israel.

The UK continues to urge the Israeli Government to respect the fundamental rights and freedoms of peaceful, legal protestors.

The UK worked actively to urge the parties to work with mediators towards an immediate ceasefire. We also fully supported Egyptian, Qatari and UN efforts to that end, working closely with the US. The UK welcomes the announcement of a ceasefire in Israel and Gaza on 20 May, which is an important step to ending the cycle of violence and loss of civilian life. Hamas must end all attacks on Israel. It is also now important for Israel to facilitate rapid humanitarian access in and out of Gaza.

As the Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary have made clear, this cycle of violence must stop, and every effort must be made to avoid loss of life.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
26th Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to protect the United Nations Relief and Works Agency from any loss of funding resulting from donors being accused of antisemitism for supporting that organisation.

It has not proved possible to respond to this question in the time available before Prorogation. The Minister will write directly to the Member with a response shortly.
Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
26th Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the violence in Jerusalem on 22 April, reportedly caused by far-right Israeli groups.

It has not proved possible to respond to this question in the time available before Prorogation. The Minister will write directly to the Member with a response shortly.
Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
19th Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of reports that Palestinians were denied entry to the Al-Aqsa Mosque during Ramadan by Israeli forces on the basis that they had not been (1) tested for COVID-19, or (2) vaccinated against COVID-19; and what assessment they have made of the availability of COVID-19 (a) tests, and (b) vaccines, to Palestinians living in the West Bank.

The Haram Al-Sharif/Temple Mount and Jerusalem hold particular significance for many groups around the globe, especially the three Abrahamic faiths of Christianity, Islam and Judaism. We support the freedom of Muslims to worship at Al Haram Al Sharif. In meetings with the Israeli authorities we regularly raise the need to respect the status quo of the holy sites in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.

The UK is committed to global equitable access to effective vaccines as demonstrated by our £548 million contribution to the COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC) - the international initiative to support global equitable access to vaccines. We remain in close contact with the Palestinian Authority on their vaccination campaign and ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Minister Cleverly most recently discussed this issue with the Palestinian Health Minister on 23 March 2021. We also continue to raise the importance of timely and appropriate access to COVID-19 vaccines with the Israeli Authorities, including through our Embassy in Tel Aviv.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
19th Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they made of the application of (1) international law, and (2) human rights principles, when making their decision to oppose an inquiry by the International Criminal Court into allegations of war crimes committed in the West Bank and Gaza since 2014.

As the Prime Minister said in his letter to the Conservative Friends of Israel, the UK is a strong supporter of the International Criminal Court (ICC) and we respect the independence of the Court. In this instance we do not consider that the ICC has jurisdiction. We continue to closely follow the ICC's work and are looking at the implications of this decision.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
19th Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the availability of COVID-19 vaccines to people living in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

We were pleased to note that the Palestinian National COVID-19 Vaccination Campaign began on 21 March following the first shipment of over 60,000 doses from the COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC) on 17 March. The UK is committed to global equitable access to effective vaccines as demonstrated by our £548m contribution to the COVAX AMC. The second shipment of 72,000 doses also arrived on 19 April 2021.

We remain in close contact with the Palestinian Authority on their vaccination campaign and the Minister for the Middle East and North Africa most recently discussed this issue with the Palestinian Health Minister on 23 March 2021. We also continue to raise the importance of timely and appropriate access to COVID-19 vaccines with the Israeli Authorities, including through our Embassy In Tel Aviv.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
12th Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to protect Palestinians living in the West Bank from violence from Israeli settlers.

We welcome the Government of Israel's decision to establish a special governmental unit and implement legislative changes to tackle settler violence. Nonetheless, we continue to urge the Israeli authorities to thoroughly investigate every instance and to bring those responsible to justice and end the culture of impunity. Our long-standing objective is a negotiated two-state solution which will allow Palestinians and Israelis to live in peace, lessening the likelihood of politically driven violence and incitement to violence.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
12th Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they have made to the government of Israel regarding the summons by Israeli forces of a 14-year-old Palestinian boy for interrogation.

We repeatedly call on Israel to abide by its obligations under international law and have a regular dialogue with Israel on legal issues relating to the occupation, including the treatment of Palestinian children. We remain concerned about Israel's extensive use of administrative detention which, according to international law, should be used only when security makes this absolutely necessary rather than as routine practice and as a preventive rather than a punitive measure. We remain committed to working with Israel to secure improvements to the practices surrounding children in detention and regularly raise this with the Israeli Ministry of Justice.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
12th Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment have they made of the decision by Pearson Education to pause the distribution of two textbooks by author Hilary Bash following allegations by academics that its text regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict had been altered.

The content and quality assurance of textbooks is a matter for individual publishers. Her Majesty's Government is aware that concerns have been raised and understand that Pearson will take action where necessary.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
23rd Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they have made to the government of Israel concerning the reported killing of Atef Yousef Hanaysha by Israeli forces during a protest against the expansion of Israeli settlements in the West Bank.

We are aware of the reports surrounding the death of Atef Yousef Hanaysha. Whilst we have not made representations on this particular case, in instances where there have been accusations of excessive use of force, we continue to urge Israel to ensure that its investigations are transparent, swift and comprehensive. We also continue to stress the importance of the Israeli security forces providing appropriate protection to the Palestinian civilian population and urge restraint in the use of live fire.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
23rd Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of reports of Palestinian families in the West Bank being attacked by Israeli settlers; what steps they will take to support such families; and what further representations they will make to the government of Israel to protect such families.

The UK condemns any incidence of violence by settlers against Palestinians. We continue to stress the importance of the Israeli security forces providing appropriate protection to the Palestinian civilian population. We call on the Israeli authorities to thoroughly investigate every instance and allegation of crimes against protected persons in the West Bank, and where appropriate bring those responsible to justice.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
23rd Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what support they are providing to the Palestinian Authority to ensure that supplies of COVID-19 vaccines (1) to the West Bank, and (2) to Gaza, are not delayed.

The UK is committed to global equitable access to effective vaccines as demonstrated by our £548 million contribution to the COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC) - the international initiative to support global equitable access to vaccines. We were pleased to note that the first shipment of over 60,000 doses from the COVAX scheme arrived in the OPTs on the 17th March and that over 21,000 were sent to Gaza.

The British Consulate-General in Jerusalem is in regular contact with the Palestinian Authority and will continue to raise timely and appropriate access to COVID-19 vaccines. UN agencies, the PA and the Israeli Government are also working together to ensure that essential medical supplies and staff can access Gaza.

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they have made to the government of Israel concerning (1) the reported increase in the number of hit-and-run offences against Palestinians, and (2) the death of Bilal Bawatneh.

We are aware of the reports surrounding the death of Bilal Bawatneh. Whilst we have not made representations on this particular case, the UK condemns any incidence of violence by settlers against Palestinians. We continue to stress the importance of the Israeli security forces providing appropriate protection to the Palestinian civilian population. We call on the Israeli authorities to thoroughly investigate every instance and allegation of crimes against protected persons in the West Bank, and where appropriate bring those responsible to justice.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
15th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon on 24 February (HL13287), what is their assessment of the involvement of UK citizens in the deaths of Palestinian citizens while serving with the Israeli Defence Forces.

We have not made an assessment of this issue. In instances where there have been accusations of excessive use of force, we continue to urge Israel to ensure that its investigations are transparent, swift and comprehensive. We also continue to stress the importance of the Israeli security forces providing appropriate protection to the Palestinian civilian population, in particular the need to protect children, and urge restraint in the use of live fire.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
15th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the findings of the report by Forensic Architecture The Extrajudicial Execution of Ahmad Erekat, published on 23 February.

We are aware of the report by Forensic Architecture: The Extrajudicial Execution of Ahmad Erekat, published on 23 February. We regularly raise the issue of the high numbers of Palestinians killed and injured by Israel Defense Forces in the West Bank and Gaza with the Israeli authorities, encouraging them to carry out transparent investigations into whether use of live fire had been appropriate.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
15th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their assessment of the number of Palestinian children (1) killed, or (2) maimed, by (a) the Israeli Defence Forces, or (b) Israeli settlers, in the last five years.

The overall numbers of Palestinian and Israeli casualties are routinely reported in the FCDO's annual human rights and democracy report. The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian affairs (OCHA) provide breakdowns of casualties, such as by age and gender. We continue to stress the importance of the Israeli security forces providing appropriate protection to the Palestinian civilian population, in particular the need to protect children, and urge restraint in the use of live fire. We condemn any incidence of violence by settlers against Palestinians. We welcome the efforts of Israeli authorities to address settler violence, and urge them to thoroughly investigate every instance and bring those responsible to justice.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
2nd Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they have made to the government of Israel about reports of attacks on Christian and Muslim buildings in East Jerusalem; and what steps will they take to ensure that religious buildings are protected from such attacks.

The holy sites of Jerusalem hold particular significance for many groups around the globe, especially the three Abrahamic faiths of Christianity, Islam and Judaism. We condemn all forms of violence, including against places of worship, and raise this with the relevant authorities when necessary. In our meetings with the Israeli authorities we regularly raise the need to respect the status quo of the holy sites in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
2nd Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they have made to the government of Israel about reports of attacks on Palestinian shepherds on their grazing land by armed Israeli settlers.

Whilst we have not made representations on these reports, we condemn any incidence of violence by settlers against Palestinians shepherds. We welcome the efforts of the Israeli authorities to address settler violence, and urge them to thoroughly investigate every instance and bring those responsible to justice. We also continue to stress the importance of the Israeli security forces providing appropriate protection to the Palestinian civilian population.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
1st Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon on 15 February (HL12870), what steps they have taken to ensure that Palestinians in territory occupied by Israel are able to access local healthcare facilities.

The UK regularly engages with both the Government of Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) on the matter of access to healthcare and will also continue to raise timely and appropriate access to COVID-19 vaccines. We remain concerned about restrictions on movement and access in Gaza, including the impact on those needing to travel outside of Gaza for medical treatment.

UK aid also plays a role in delivering essential healthcare services to Palestinians. The UK provided £20 million in the financial year 2020/21 to support the PA in delivering essential healthcare services to Palestinians. This funding will help the PA support its health workers who have been on the frontline battling COVID-19 and who deliver life-saving medical services. We also provided £1.25m to the World Health Organization and UNICEF to purchase and co-ordinate the delivery of medical equipment, treat critical care patients, train frontline public health personnel and scale up laboratory testing capacity.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
1st Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon on 8 February (HL12565), what steps they intend to take to prevent the destruction of schools and other infrastructure in the West Bank.

The UK continues to oppose Israel's proposed demolitions of Palestinian schools and calls on Israel to reconsider its plans to do so. The UK Ambassador in Tel Aviv raised ongoing demolitions with the Israeli Authorities in a meeting alongside like-minded partners on 25 February 2021. The Minister for the Middle East and North Africa called on Israel to stop demolitions on 5 February 2021 and raised his concerns about demolitions of Palestinian infrastructure, including the potential demolition of schools, with the Israeli Ambassador to the UK on 29 October 2020. The UK is clear that in all but the most exceptional of circumstances, demolitions are contrary to International Humanitarian Law.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
22nd Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that COVID-19 vaccines ordered by the Palestinian Authority are not prevented from entering Gaza by the government of Israel.

We welcome the steps that the parties have taken so far to coordinate responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, including the news that on the 17 February the first shipment of vaccines from the Palestinian Authority was brought into Gaza, with the approval of Israel. We encourage further cooperation between the two parties in this regard. Officials from our Embassy in Tel Aviv and our Consulate-General in Jerusalem regularly urge the Israeli and Palestinian authorities to take steps to improve health and economic conditions in Gaza. We will continue to monitor the availability of vaccines for Palestinians in Gaza and will raise with the relevant authorities accordingly.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
22nd Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what support they provide (1) to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and (2) to countries with the highest number of cases of (a) AIDS, (b) tuberculosis, and (c) malaria.

The UK is currently the second largest donor to the Global Fund to fight AIDS, TB and Malaria. The Global Fund invests in over 100 countries, focusing on those countries with the highest disease burden and lowest ability to pay. Our contribution has helped to save 38 million lives since 2002 and aims to help save another 16 million in the next three years.

Resilient health systems are at the core of global efforts to prevent and treat diseases. The UK is partnering with countries with some of the highest rates of AIDS, TB and malaria, to strengthen their health systems. The UK also supports the civil society HIV response through funding to the Robert Carr Fund to advocate for the rights and needs of the most marginalised groups affected by HIV, such as LGBTQ+ people and sex workers.

Investing in research and development to better tackle the three diseases is also crucial. The UK's funding to TB and malaria research is helping to develop new tools to prevent, diagnose and treat these diseases, including drugs that fight the threat of drug resistance. Our world-class research investments include the first child-friendly antimalarial drug, which has saved more than 1 million lives.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
22nd Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking in response to the letter from the Britain-Palestine All-Party Parliamentary Group to the Foreign Secretary on 8 February about the eviction of Palestinians in East Jerusalem by Israeli settler organisations.

We note the letter sent by the Britain-Palestine All-Party Parliamentary Group to the Foreign Secretary on 8 February. We regularly make clear our concerns about the evictions of Palestinians from their homes in East Jerusalem to the Israeli authorities and the Municipality of Jerusalem, both bilaterally and in co-operation with like-minded diplomatic partners. The Fourth Geneva Convention, which applies to all occupied territories, including East Jerusalem, prohibits demolitions or forced evictions absent military necessity. The Minister of State for the Middle East and North Africa raised the issue of evictions of Palestinians from their homes, with the Israeli Ambassador to the UK on 29 October 2020, and the British Embassy in Tel Aviv raises this issue regularly with the Israeli authorities. UK officials from the British Consulate in Jerusalem have made regular visits to areas at risk of demolition and eviction to reiterate UK support for those communities. On 25 November 2020, the UK Consul General Jerusalem visited families at risk of eviction in Sheikh Jarrah, restating UK opposition to evictions of Palestinians from their homes.

The UK is focused on preventing demolitions and evictions from happening in the first place through our legal aid programme, which supports Bedouin communities and Palestinians facing demolition or home eviction in both the West Bank and East Jerusalem. We continue to urge the Government of Israel to develop improved mechanisms for zoning, planning and permitting in Area C for the benefit of the Palestinian population, including by facilitating local Palestinian participation in such processes.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
11th Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether (1) the CDC Group, and (2) the Private Infrastructure Development Group, have to follow any policies set by central Government in relation to (a) investments, (b) loans, and (c) loan guarantees, linked to fossil fuels.

CDC Group Plc and Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG) each have their own policy on investing in projects linked to fossil fuels. These policies are publicly available and closely aligned to the UK Government's own policy on ODA funded fossil fuel investments overseas, announced at the Climate Ambition Summit on 12 December 2020.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
11th Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to offset the historic carbon emissions produced as a result of Official Development Assistance and UK Export Finance (1) investments, (2) loans, and (3) loan guarantees.

Countries need reliable and sustainable supplies of energy if they are to tackle poverty effectively by growing their economies, creating jobs and delivering essential services. UK aid is focused on helping them achieve this. While we do not currently have plans to offset historic emissions, our support for energy is increasingly invested in renewables. Since 2011, the UK has provided 33 million people with improved access to clean energy, avoided 31 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions and installed 2,000 MW of clean energy capacity. The Government is continuing to strengthen the UK's ambitious climate action through the doubling of our international climate finance to £11.6 billion between 2021/22 and 2025/26.

UKEF is proactively developing the breadth of its support for renewable sectors, with £2 billion allocated to UKEF's direct lending facility for clean growth and renewable energy projects. The facility recently supported a £230 million large-scale windfarm off the coast of Taiwan and £47.6 million of support to build two of the largest solar plants in Spain. UKEF is continuing to strengthen its pipeline of renewable energy projects.

The Prime Minister announced at the Climate Ambition Summit on 12 December that the Government will no longer provide any new direct financial or promotional support for the fossil fuel energy sector overseas, with very limited exemptions. This includes support through Official Development Assistance and export finance.

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
5th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon on 30 November 2020 (HL10390), when the Foreign Secretary will publish the outcome of the cross-Government review to review, appraise and finalise the UK's Official Development Assistance allocations for 2021.

The Foreign Secretary is currently in the process of concluding the cross-Government review which will agree ODA allocations for all government departments. The process intends to drive coherence across the entire UK ODA budget and ensure the UK acts as a force for good across the globe. The Foreign Secretary will communicate the outcome in due course.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the warning by the World Health Organization’s Gaza office that Gaza’s healthcare system could be overwhelmed by COVID-19.

The UK remains concerned about the ongoing humanitarian situation in Gaza and the impact of COVID-19 on an already fragile healthcare system. Recognising the severity of the situation, we were one of the first donors to provide funding to support the health and humanitarian response to the COVID-19 pandemic in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPTs). We have provided £1.25 million funding (the World Health Organisation with £630,000 and the United Nations Children's Fund with £620,000) to purchase and co-ordinate delivery of medical equipment, treat critical care patients, train frontline health workers and scale up laboratory testing capacity - mainly in Gaza. In addition, we are providing £2.5 million to the World Food Programme to provide food and cash assistance for the most vulnerable Palestinians to help alleviate the humanitarian situation. We have also contributed £1 million to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency's Emergency Appeal in the OPTs which will help provide emergency food to over one million food-insecure refugees in Gaza.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with the government of Israel about (1) lifting the closure of Gaza, and (2) ending all practices intending to be collective punishment of the inhabitants of the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

We have serious concerns about the use of punitive acts against the families of Palestinians who have been accused of violent acts by Israel, including Israel's policy of demolitions to destroy the homes belonging to suspected Palestinian terrorists or their families. Such punishments, in all but the most exceptional of cases, are contrary to international humanitarian law. Officials from our Embassy in Tel Aviv have registered concerns about this policy with Israeli authorities. The UK also remains deeply concerned about the situation in Gaza. We continue to stress to the Israeli authorities the damage that their restrictions are doing to the economy and to the living standards of ordinary Palestinians in Gaza. There remains an urgent need for all parties to reach an agreement that addresses the underlying causes of the conflict in Gaza.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
16th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to strengthen health system resilience to specific diseases in low and middle income countries.

The UK has a strong track record in investing in global health and health systems to deliver the SDGs, to achieve universal health coverage (UHC), and to end the preventable deaths of mothers, new-borns and children by 2030. To protect global progress in these areas from the impacts of COVID-19, the UK is working with our partners and country governments to respond to the pandemic, and to support resilient health systems for maintaining safe essential health services, including for persisting threats such as malaria, TB, HIV, vaccine preventable diseases and new diseases. The UK has pledged up to £1.4 billion to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria, which will support developing countries tackle these three epidemics as well as strengthen national health systems. The Global Fund is also making up to $1 billion available for countries to respond to COVID-19, to reinforce their health systems, adapt their programmes and reduce the indirect impacts on health services.

The UK recognises that we have a real opportunity to shape a recovery from COVID-19 that delivers cleaner, healthier, more inclusive, and more resilient economies and societies. Better health, together with respect for people's rights, helps everyone, including the poorest and most vulnerable to survive and thrive; boosting human capital; and driving poverty eradication and inclusive economic development.

16th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that progress made in strengthening health system resilience is not lost.

The UK has a strong track record in investing in global health and health systems to deliver the SDGs, to achieve universal health coverage (UHC), and to end the preventable deaths of mothers, new-borns and children by 2030. To protect global progress in these areas from the impacts of COVID-19, the UK is working with our partners and country governments to respond to the pandemic, and to support resilient health systems for maintaining safe essential health services, including for persisting threats such as malaria, TB, HIV, vaccine preventable diseases and new diseases. The UK has pledged up to £1.4 billion to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria, which will support developing countries tackle these three epidemics as well as strengthen national health systems. The Global Fund is also making up to $1 billion available for countries to respond to COVID-19, to reinforce their health systems, adapt their programmes and reduce the indirect impacts on health services.

The UK recognises that we have a real opportunity to shape a recovery from COVID-19 that delivers cleaner, healthier, more inclusive, and more resilient economies and societies. Better health, together with respect for people's rights, helps everyone, including the poorest and most vulnerable to survive and thrive; boosting human capital; and driving poverty eradication and inclusive economic development.

16th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of (1) maintaining, and (2) advancing, health system resilience as a precursor to economic development in low and middle income countries.

The UK has a strong track record in investing in global health and health systems to deliver the SDGs, to achieve universal health coverage (UHC), and to end the preventable deaths of mothers, new-borns and children by 2030. To protect global progress in these areas from the impacts of COVID-19, the UK is working with our partners and country governments to respond to the pandemic, and to support resilient health systems for maintaining safe essential health services, including for persisting threats such as malaria, TB, HIV, vaccine preventable diseases and new diseases. The UK has pledged up to £1.4 billion to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria, which will support developing countries tackle these three epidemics as well as strengthen national health systems. The Global Fund is also making up to $1 billion available for countries to respond to COVID-19, to reinforce their health systems, adapt their programmes and reduce the indirect impacts on health services.

The UK recognises that we have a real opportunity to shape a recovery from COVID-19 that delivers cleaner, healthier, more inclusive, and more resilient economies and societies. Better health, together with respect for people's rights, helps everyone, including the poorest and most vulnerable to survive and thrive; boosting human capital; and driving poverty eradication and inclusive economic development.

16th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they will publish their review of the 2021–-22 framework for the aid budget for non-governmental organisations.

Following the Chancellor's statement of 25 November announcing the outcome of the Spending Review, the Foreign Secretary has announced he will run a short cross-government review to review, appraise and finalise all the UK's ODA allocations for next year in the lead-up to Christmas.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
16th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many disease-specific programmes they have (1) reduced, and (2) cancelled, as a result of the reduction of the foreign aid budget by £2.9 billion announced in July.

Difficult decisions have been necessary to identify the savings required. The First Secretary chaired a review process across government looking at all strands of the ODA budget ensuring support for five ODA priorities; bottom billion poverty reduction, climate change, girls' education, COVID-19 and Britain as a force for good. The national statistic reporting on ODA spending (Statistics for International Development) published in 2021 will provide a full breakdown of the UK's ODA spend for 2020.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
21st May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of COVID-19 on the human rights situation in Jammu and Kashmir.

We recognise that there are human rights concerns in India-administered Kashmir and we have raised these with the Government of India. We remain concerned at ongoing detentions and some restrictions on internet services and call for these to be lifted as soon as possible. We encourage all states to ensure domestic laws are in line with international standards. Any allegations of human rights abuses or violations are deeply concerning and must be investigated thoroughly, promptly and transparently.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
21st May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of whether the role of the UN Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan should be strengthened in response to the suspension of 2G mobile internet in Jammu and Kashmir on 6 May.

The UN Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan is mandated to observe ceasefire violations across the Line of Control between India and Pakistan and report these to the UN Secretary General. We remain concerned by some ongoing restrictions on mobile internet access in India-administered Kashmir and call on the Government of India to lift these restrictions as soon as possible.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
20th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they have made to foreign governments for the inclusion of (1) refugees, (2) migrants, (3) unregistered persons, and (4) persons without legal documentation, in national public health responses.

We recognise that refugees and Internally Displaced People may be at higher risk of infection by COVID-19 and other diseases due to high geographical mobility, overcrowded conditions, lack of safe sanitation and already poor health outcomes, and have focused our advocacy and aid commitments accordingly, working with international partners. The UK has committed up to £764 million aid funding so far to support global efforts to combat COVID-19, which includes £276 million for supporting resilience in vulnerable countries. £145 million of this is focused on UN appeals, and support to particular vulnerable groups: £75 million for the WHO; £20 million for UNICEF and £5 million to Education Cannot Wait to help refugee, migrant and displaced children proving basic suppliers and lessons; £20 million for the UN Refugee Agency providing access to handwashing stations and drinking water for displaced people; £15 million for the World Food Programme; and £10 million to UNFPA to provide lifesaving Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) and gender based violence prevention. We have also adapted our bilateral programmes in a number of countries to respond to the particular challenges that COVID-19 presents to vulnerable communities. For example, in Bangladesh, UK aid is helping maintain essential humanitarian services in Rohingya refugee camps.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
20th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they have made, if any, to the government of the United States to use the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s COVID-19 Business Response Facility to provide conditional grants to private healthcare companies to ensure that healthcare is freely accessible to low-income and disadvantaged groups.

How the US manages its domestic COVID response is a matter for the US authorities. However, the UK remains in regular contact at the highest levels with our US partners on our joint response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, including discussions on how to deliver a global health response that provides support for the most vulnerable.

5th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government for a report from their Permanent Representative to the United Nations on how governments are responding to the statement by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child's statement on the physical, emotional and psychological effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on children, published on 8 April.

The UK Government is concerned that COVID-19 and measures taken to tackle it could have a disproportionate impact on marginalised and vulnerable groups, and is clear that measures taken to tackle the crisis must be designed to mitigate, rather than contribute to, this. We are working with international partners to ensure that child protection is integrated into a comprehensive response to COVID-19 that supports those groups who will be hit the hardest and are often with limited or no state protection. We welcome the statement made by the Chairpersons of the 10 UN Treaty Bodies on 24 March calling for a human rights approach in fighting COVID-19 and in the subsequent guidance provided by other Treaty Bodies, such as the Committee on the Rights of the Child. In negotiations in Geneva on a draft Human Rights Council Presidential statement on human rights and COVID-19, the UK has supported specific mention of children's rights, and proposed additional language highlighting the need to consider the particular situation of women and girls, and the role they can play in the response. A number of other countries have also proposed adding strengthened wording on children's rights, reflecting many of the concerns raised in the statement by the Committee on the Rights of the Child.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
5th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what measures being developed to support street children during the COVID-19 pandemic (1) the Department for International Development, and (2) the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, are aware of; what measures the Government are implementing in the UK; and what steps they are taking to involve specialist expert organisations in the development of such measures.

The UK is committed to protecting the most vulnerable children in the world. We are working with international partners to ensure that child protection is integrated into a comprehensive, multi-sectoral response to Covid-19 which supports the most marginalised and vulnerable groups around the world, often with limited or no state protection, including children who live and work on the streets. We provide significant support to protect children from violence in conflict and humanitarian crises and to reduce their risks of exploitation and neglect. We welcome the statement made by the Chairpersons of the 10 UN Treaty Bodies on 24 March calling for a human rights approach in fighting COVID-19 and in the subsequent guidance provided by other Treaty Bodies, such as the Committee on the Rights of the Child.

Providing financial support to UNICEF enables the UK to protect vulnerable children across the world who would be significantly affected by the spread of COVID-19, and through emergency grants to "Education Cannot Wait" we are supporting children in 16 Covid-19 hit countries. We are also working to ensure that existing UK programming is responsive to the challenge of supporting those in need during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Work on supporting street children in the UK does not come under the remit of the Department for International Development or the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
28th Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with the governments of Malaysia and Thailand about access to healthcare during the COVID-19 pandemic for Rohingya refugees.

We remain concerned by the plight of Rohingya refugees and urge regional governments to engage on this issue.

Officials from the British Embassy in Bangkok have discussed with the Thai government the importance of the provision of humanitarian assistance to Rohingyas aboard vessels that enter Thai waters, including in the last week. The Foreign Secretary raised our concerns about the situation of the Rohingya community with the former Malaysian Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah on 11 February. Our High Commission in Kuala Lumpur has subsequently continued to raise our concerns on the issue with the Malaysian Government.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
9th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment have they made of the risk posed by COVID-19 to low- and middle-income countries.

To prioritise international support, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has assessed which countries are most at risk of the importation of cases and how prepared they are for a potential outbreak. The UK assessment is that COVID-19 poses an immediate health risk to low- and middle-income countries as well as secondary health and socio-economic impacts. Diseases are global threats and to save lives around the world we need a strong international response. The UK has announced up to £241 million of UK aid funding to support the global efforts to combat the outbreak of COVID-19 and to support multilateral actors, including the WHO, to mitigate the impacts for low- and middle-income countries.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
5th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that the separation of responsibilities between Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Department for International Development junior ministers is sufficiently robust to safeguard the reputation of the UK on the international stage.

The Prime Minister appointed a fully joint Junior Ministerial Team for the Department for International Development (DFID) and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO). This builds on the good work DFID is already delivering with the FCO in bilateral posts, multilateral missions and through FCO-DFID Joint Units in London. The Prime Minister also appointed separate Secretaries of State for the FCO and DFID in the recent reshuffle and is keen to make sure that UK aid is both spent well and aligned with the UK's foreign policy priorities.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
24th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government which departmental budgets will be affected by the £2.9 billion package of reductions to the Government’s planned Official Development Assistance spend for 2020 announced by the First Secretary of State on 22 July; and what is the value of each department’s reduction in spending.

Official Development Assistance (ODA) spending departments have identified changes to their budget to make sure we meet, but do not exceed the 0.7% commitment. This package includes underspends, delaying activity and stopping some activity to maintain our flexibility in managing our ODA spending against an uncertain 0.7% position.

As normal, there will continue to be adjustments in-year to individual departmental ODA spend to meet the 0.7% commitment. Revised ODA allocations for 2020/21 will be published by HM Treasury at Autumn Budget and the Statistics for International Development to be published in 2021 will provide a full breakdown of the UK’s ODA spend for 2020.

Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
5th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans, if any, they have for the criteria for allocating Official Development Assistance to be redefined.

HM Treasury will allocate future Official Development Assistance (ODA) budgets at the 2020 Comprehensive Spending Review.

We will build on the process and criteria used at the 2015 Spending Review to allocate ODA, taking into account a range of factors, including, but not limited to, value for money and strategic alignment with the Government’s priorities, in line with the conclusions of the Integrated Review.

The Government expects the same high standards from ODA as it does from all Government expenditure.

Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
3rd Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to their policy paper Statement in relation to legal routes from the EU for protection claimants including family reunion of unaccompanied children, published on 8 February, when they intend to fulfil their commitment to review legal routes of entry to the UK for people seeking asylum and refugee family reunion, including for unaccompanied asylum-seeking children in EU member states seeking to join relatives in the UK.

The Government has committed to review safe and legal routes to the UK and has a statutory duty to conduct a public consultation on family reunion for unaccompanied asylum-seeking children in the EU.

This review and public consultation will cover legal routes by which protection claimants who are in the EU can enter the UK, to reunite with family members. The review will go beyond those who are in the EU, reflecting our new global approach to the immigration system. This wider review of safe and legal routes will fully address our statutory duties as set out in the Act and the timetable of the two will run together.

The Home Secretary has set out the Government’s ambition to overhaul our approach to asylum and illegal migration, delivering a firm but fair system, including bringing forward new legislation this year. The review and consultation are an important part of this.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)