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Question for Department for International Development

UIN HL2074, tabled on 14 October 2014

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the safety of Christian and Yezidi refugees in the Kurdish region in Iraq and the likelihood of an IS-led genocide against them.

Answered on

21 October 2014

The UK Government is using all the resources at its disposal to push back and ultimately seek to destroy ISIL. This includes providing military assistance to the Kurdish Peshmerga forces fighting ISIL so that they can restore control over the areas taken by ISIL, deploying a specialist team of Army trainers into Erbil, to provide Iraqi forces with training, and the RAF carrying out surveillance flights to provide greater situational awareness. The UK will continue to closely monitor the situation in the Kurdish and wider regions of Iraq.

In addition, DFID has provided £23m of UK Aid to Iraq, £17.5 million of which is funding NGOs, the UN and the Red Cross who continue to provide support to displaced people, including carrying out protection activities. All UK funded aid is distributed on the basis of need to ensure civilians are not discriminated against. Our aid is reaching displaced people across Iraq, including in the Kurdish region, to which many Christians and Yazidis have fled.

The Secretary of State for DFID visited Iraq in August and urged the then Designate, now confirmed in post, Iraqi Prime Minister, Haida al-Abadi, to ensure that his government protects all minorities in Iraq, promotes human rights and asserts the rule of law. The UK has also helped to secure a UN Human Rights Council Resolution mandating the UN urgently to investigate and report on ISIL abuses.