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Syria: Refugees

Question for Department for International Development

UIN HL1054, tabled on 19 July 2017

Her Majesty's Government what assessment they made of (1) the written evidence submitted by the All-Party Parliamentary Group for International Freedom of Religion or Belief to the International Development Committee on 20 October 2015 that local workers employed by UNHCR were giving preferential access to aid and food resources to Syrian refugees in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey who shared the religious beliefs of those workers, and (2) the extent to which such practices are continuing.

Answered on

27 July 2017

The Government takes extremely seriously any allegations that UN staff are giving preferential access to aid on the basis of the religious affiliation of beneficiaries. This would contravene international humanitarian principles and the UN’s own guidelines. Lord Bates and Minister Burt have arranged a joint meeting with Lord Alton and interested parties to discuss this important issue.