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Written Question
Domestic Abuse: Victim Support Schemes
24 Dec 2020, midnight

Questioner: Lord Polak

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government how much of the victims core grant funding Police and Crime Commissioner’s spent between 1 April 2019 and 31 March 2020 on (1) domestic abuse services, (2) domestic violence specialist services, (3) domestic abuse perpetrator programmes, (4) family court domestic abuse support, and (5) Independent Domestic Violence Advisers.

Answer (Baroness Scott of Bybrook)

In 2019/20 Police and Crime Commissioners received £70.3m from the Ministry of Justice to provide or commission support services for victims of crime, including victims of Domestic Abuse. PCCs also spend additional money from other sources on victims’ services.

It is not possible to provide the spend on specific sub-categories of Domestic Abuse services, as it cannot be disaggregated from overall spend for all PCCs.


Written Question
Domestic Abuse: Victim Support Schemes
24 Dec 2020, midnight

Questioner: Lord Polak

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government how much additional expenditure outside of the victims core grant funding Police and Crime Commissioner’s spent between 1 April 2019 and 31 March 2020 on (1) domestic abuse services, (2) Independent Domestic Abuse Advisers, (3) domestic abuse perpetrator programmes, (4) family court domestic abuse support, and (5) Independent Domestic Violence Advisers.

Answer (Baroness Scott of Bybrook)

In 2019/20 Police and Crime Commissioners received £70.3m from the Ministry of Justice to provide or commission support services for victims of crime, including victims of Domestic Abuse. PCCs also spend additional money from other sources on victims’ services.

It is not possible to provide the spend on specific sub-categories of Domestic Abuse services, as it cannot be disaggregated from overall spend for all PCCs.


Written Question
Loans: Lebanon
13 Jul 2020, midnight

Questioner: Lord Polak

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they have taken to ensure that the IMF's support for Lebanon (1) is subject to strict oversight and monitoring, and (2) has mechanisms in place to ensure it is not misspent.

Answer (Lord Agnew of Oulton)

IMF programmes in general are subject to strict policies of oversight and monitoring, underpinned by well-established mechanisms.

Under its Articles of Agreement, the IMF must establish adequate safeguards for the use of its resources. IMF lending requires safeguards covering key areas of governance and control to help mitigate the risks of misuse of Fund resources and misreporting of data. These safeguards may include limits on how much can be borrowed, conditions on the loans, measures to deal with misreporting or arrears, and safeguard assessments of central banks.

The UK uses its seat at the IMF’s Board to help shape these policies and ensure that they are applied across all the IMF’s lending arrangements.


Written Question
Hezbollah
13 Jul 2020, midnight

Questioner: Lord Polak

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of Hezbollah's involvement in (1) charitable, and (2) criminal networks, in the UK.

Answer (Baroness Williams of Trafford)

We do not comment on intelligence matters.


Written Question
Palestinians: Teachers
31 Mar 2020, midnight

Questioner: Lord Polak

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of teacher training programmes supported by UK aid in the Palestinian Territories.

Answer (Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon)

DFID supports teacher training in the Occupied Palestinian Territories through the UK’s ‘Connecting Classrooms through Global Learning Programme’, which is co-funded by DFID and the British Council. The programme focuses on core and transferable skills, and global citizenship.

The content is centrally designed by UK-based experts and delivered on the ground across the world by trainers who are validated and quality assured by the British Council. The British Council undertakes quality assurance visits to ensure the content delivered is appropriate and high quality. The British Council also monitors feedback from participants and has commissioned an independent evaluation of the effectiveness and quality of the training.


Written Question
Palestinians: Curriculum
31 Mar 2020, midnight

Questioner: Lord Polak

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether UK aid is distributed to employees of the Palestinian Ministry of Education’s Curriculum Development Centre.

Answer (Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon)

Our money to support education and health provision in the West Bank goes into a special, dedicated bank account and is only paid to individuals vetted through the Palestinian-European Socio-Economic Management Assistance Mechanism (PEGASE) to ensure they have no connections to any proscribed groups and are still in employment.

Employees of the Palestinian Ministry of Education’s Curriculum Development Centre are included on the PEGASE list, alongside teachers and other public sector education professionals.

Each payment is independently audited to ensure it has been transferred to the declared bank account of the intended recipient. This rigorous process means we are confident no UK aid is being diverted.


Written Question
Palestinians: Textbooks
31 Mar 2020, midnight

Questioner: Lord Polak

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government which textbooks are used by the teachers in the Palestinian Territories that are funded by UK aid.

Answer (Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon)

The UK does not fund textbooks in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Our education funding to the Palestinian Authority (PA) contributes to the salaries of carefully vetted teachers. Teachers in PA schools teach the Palestinian curriculum. Following allegations of incitement in the PA’s school textbooks, the UK secured agreement from our European partners to lead an independent review of the textbooks which is underway. We expect interim findings in Spring 2020 and full findings later in the year.


Written Question
Iran: Palestinians
24 Mar 2020, midnight

Questioner: Lord Polak

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the government of Iran's (1) involvement in, and (2) policy of, encouraging peace between Israelis and Palestinians.

Answer (Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon)

Iran continues to support a number of militant and proscribed groups in the region, such as Hezbollah, Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and Palestinian rejectionist groups. This support is concerning, and directly undermines prospects for regional security and lasting peace in the region. We are clear that we want to see the creation of a sovereign, independent and viable Palestinian state - living in peace and security, side by side with Israel. We will continue to work with likeminded partners to advance the Middle East Peace Process, countering those who embrace violence.


Written Question
Iran: Palestinian Islamic Jihad
18 Mar 2020, midnight

Questioner: Lord Polak

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the government of Iran's support for the Palestinian Islamic Jihad group, which fired missiles into Israel in February.

Answer (Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon)

We remain deeply concerned by Iran's support to a number of militant and proscribed groups in the region, including Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ). This support directly undermines prospects for regional security and lasting peace in the region. The UK notes with concern the recent escalation in Gaza, including indiscriminate rocket fire which places civilians at risk. Any attacks targeted against civilians are unlawful and unjustifiable. We call on all sides to maintain calm. We have been clear about the dangers of further escalation. A regional conflict is in no one's interest. We will continue to work with international partners to support stability in the region.


Written Question
Iran: Palestinian Islamic Jihad
18 Mar 2020, midnight

Questioner: Lord Polak

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they have taken to ensure that the government of Iran's support for the Palestinian Islamic Jihad group does not jeopardise negotiations for a permanent peace between Israel and Hamas.

Answer (Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon)

We remain deeply concerned by Iran's support to a number of militant and proscribed groups in the region, including Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ). This support directly undermines prospects for regional security and lasting peace in the region. Longer term, we encourage relevant parties to put forward sustainable proposals to resolve the threat posed to Israel's security by Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and other militants in Gaza. Misrule is leading to dreadful consequences for the people of Gaza and also of Israel. The perpetual cycle of violence does not serve anyone's interests, and must end.


Written Question
UNRWA
9 Sep 2019, midnight

Questioner: Lord Polak

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of whether the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East's mandate is aligned with their commitment to a two-state solution for an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; and what steps they will take to ensure that alignment if necessary.

Answer (Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon)

UNRWA is a necessary humanitarian and stabilising force in the region, providing vital services to millions of Palestinian refugees every day. The UK recognises UNRWA’s unique mandate from the UN General Assembly, to protect and provide essential health and education services to Palestinian registered refugees across the Middle East. We accompany our support to UNRWA with stringent attention to neutrality and values of peace and remain in close contact with UNRWA’s senior management to monitor and drive progress on essential reforms.


Written Question
UNRWA
9 Sep 2019, midnight

Questioner: Lord Polak

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they have taken to ensure that the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East is rated by the Publish What You Find AID transparency index.

Answer (Baroness Sugg)

It has not proved possible to respond to this question in the time available before Prorogation. Ministers will correspond directly with the Member.


Written Question
UNRWA
9 Sep 2019, midnight

Questioner: Lord Polak

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East's mandate; and whether that mandate complies with the Department for International Development's anti-corruption strategies.

Answer (Baroness Sugg)

It has not proved possible to respond to this question in the time available before Prorogation. Ministers will correspond directly with the Member.


Written Question
UNRWA
16 Apr 2019, midnight

Questioner: Lord Polak

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with the government of the United States about new models and approaches to ensure the long-term viability of the work currently undertaken by the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees.

Answer (Lord Bates)

The UK maintains a regular dialogue with the US on a range of Middle East issues, and has discussed UNRWA’s long term financial viability in light of the US decision to withdraw their funding.


Written Question
UNRWA
15 Apr 2019, midnight

Questioner: Lord Polak

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the sustainability of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees’ working definition of a Palestinian refugee.

Answer (Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon)

​The UK recognises the United Nations Relief and Works Agency's (UNRWA) unique mandate from the UN General Assembly, to protect and provide essential services to Palestinian refugees across the Middle East. The UK is clear that the status of Palestinian refugees is a final status issue, and must be agreed as part of wider peace negotiations. Accordingly the UK has not made an assessment of the sustainability of the UNRWA's working definition of a Palestinian refugee.


Written Question
UNRWA
15 Apr 2019, midnight

Questioner: Lord Polak

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they have made to the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees about its working definition of a refugee.

Answer (Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon)

​The UK is clear that the status of Palestinian refugees is a final status issue, and must be agreed as part of wider peace negotiations. Accordingly the UK has not made representations to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) regarding its working definition of a Palestinian refugee. The UK remains a firmly committed supporter of UNRWA, and Palestinian refugees across the Middle East, and we will do everything we can to maintain continuity of essential services at this time.


Written Question
Palestinians: Public Sector
10 Apr 2019, midnight

Questioner: Lord Polak

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the Palestinian Authority’s ability to deliver public services within the Palestinian Territories.

Answer (Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon)

The UK is committed to the objective of a sovereign and prosperous Palestinian state, living side by side with a safe and secure Israel. That is why we are a key donor to the Palestinian Authority (PA) and why we have put such emphasis on strengthening Palestinian institutions and fostering private sector-led, sustainable economic growth in the West Bank. The UK is concerned about the effects of US and Israeli cuts to the PA's budget on both the PA's ability to deliver essential services to Palestinians and on the prospects for peace and stability in the region. We are also concerned by the PA's decision to not accept reduced clearance revenues from Israel. The PA needs to be financially sustainable to ensure stability, deliver services to Palestinians, and to fulfil its responsibilities under the Oslo Accords. UK aid helps to ensure the PA's financial stability. In 2018/19 UK aid to the PA helped to pay the salaries of 37,600 teachers, doctors, nurses, midwives and other health and education public servants. No UK aid is used for payments to Palestinian prisoners or their families.


Written Question
Yesh Din: Grants
30 Mar 2017, midnight

Questioner: Lord Polak

Question

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment has been made of the value for money to the UK taxpayer of the 690,189 shekels (£154,000) grant given to Yesh Din in 2016.

Answer (Baroness Anelay of St Johns)

Each project funded by the UK is in line with British Government policy. The money allocated to Yesh Din supported our objective of preserving the viability of a two-state solution.


Written Question
Israel: Gaza
30 Mar 2017, midnight

Questioner: Lord Polak

Question

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of reports of renewed construction of tunnels into Israel by Hamas; and of the impact of those tunnels on progress towards a two-state solution.

Answer (Baroness Anelay of St Johns)

We remain deeply concerned by Hamas attempts to rearm and rebuild militant infrastructure, including the tunnel network in Gaza. Hamas rearmament undermines efforts to improve the situation in Gaza and harms the prospects for peace and stability in the Middle East.


Written Question
Overseas Trade: Israel
28 Mar 2017, midnight

Questioner: Lord Polak

Question

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what discussions they have had with the government of Israel to strengthen UK–Israel trade; and what progress has been made in securing a UK–Israel trade deal to be implemented following the UK's exit from the EU.

Answer (Lord Price)

The Prime Minister met the Israeli Prime Minister in February and agreed to establish a working group to continue the progress we have seen to date. We continue to liaise closely with the Israeli Government on strengthening our trading links, and I look forward to building on our strong trade relationship during my visit to Israel this week.


Written Question
Palestinians: Overseas Aid
20 Sep 2016, midnight

Questioner: Lord Polak

Question

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, in the light of the reports of a senior World Vision official in Gaza diverting funds to Hamas, what steps they are taking to ensure that UK aid given to projects in Gaza and the West Bank is not misappropriated.

Answer (Baroness Anelay of St Johns)

The recent allegations against the senior World Vision official in Gaza are deeply concerning. DFID does not fund World Vision operations in Gaza or the Occupied Palestinian Territories more widely. DFID’s programmes are subject to stringent safeguards.


Written Question
Palestinians: Overseas Aid
20 Sep 2016, midnight

Questioner: Lord Polak

Question

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what were the total values of UK aid disbursements in the Palestinian territories given for the purpose of (1) legal assistance, and (2) promoting peaceful co-existence, in each of the last five years for which figures are available.

Answer (Baroness Anelay of St Johns)

In each of the last five years the UK has provided the following support for legal assistance in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPTs):

Year

Disbursement

2012/2013

£340,000

2013/2014

£2,011,000

2014/2015

£2,550,000

2015/2016

£2,655,000

2016/2017

£1,000,000*

Total

£8,556,000

*as this is the current financial year, this figure is subject to change.

The DFID Secretary of State is currently considering options for co-existence programmes as part of a wider examination of DFID’s programme in the OPTs. The FCO has supported several co-existence projects in Israel.


Written Question
Palestinians: Overseas Aid
20 Sep 2016, midnight

Questioner: Lord Polak

Question

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they will provide the names of the receiver organisations currently reported as "Supplier Name Withheld" for the £5.49 million in disbursements given to the Norwegian Refugee Council for legal assistance in the West Bank and Gaza from September 2013 to May 2016.

Answer (Baroness Anelay of St Johns)

All disbursements listed on the Development Tracker for the programme entitled ‘Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC): Legal Assistance to prevent demolitions and displacement in the OPTs’ have been made directly to the NRC, which is the supplier for this programme. Due to a technical issue inherent in the Development Tracker management information system, some supplier names appear as withheld when in fact they should be published. Our central management information team is working on a solution to this problem.


Written Question
Palestinians: Youth Services
20 Apr 2016, midnight

Questioner: Lord Polak

Question

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Anelay of St Johns on 10 March (HL6654), what projects are delivered by Burj Al Luqluq Youth Centre and Silwan Youth Centre that are funded through the Bilateral Programme Budget.

Answer (Baroness Anelay of St Johns)

The Bilateral Programme Budget funded two projects run by the Burj Al Luqluq and Silwan Youth Centres, both of which were completed in March 2016.

The Burj Al Luqluq project built the capacity of Palestinian youth in East Jerusalem to become positive and active leaders in their communities. The project worked with 50 participants, male and female, who received training in communication, leadership and photography skills. They developed their employability and strengthened their national and cultural identities.

The Silwan project provided Information technology and other equipment to create a safe environment for children and adults to conduct homework and research.


Written Question
Israel: Save a Child's Heart
10 Mar 2016, midnight

Questioner: Lord Polak

Question

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they are aware of the work of Save a Child's Heart in Holon, Israel, and whether they have any plans to support Save a Child's Heart in Israel in particular by providing it with financial assistance.

Answer (Baroness Anelay of St Johns)

Our Embassy in Tel Aviv is aware of the work of Save a Child’s Heart. They do not currently have plans to provide financial assistance to this charity but have provided funding in the past, and hosted an event for the charity at the Ambassador's Residence.