Skip to main content

Overseas Aid: Religion

Question for Department for International Development

UIN 67616, tabled on 1 July 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps her the Government is taking to help ensure that recipients of UK aid from (a) Christian and (b) other religious minorities not are not discriminated against because of their faith.

Answered on

8 July 2020

The UK Government works to ensure that recipients of UK Aid, including Christian and other minority religious communities, are not discriminated against because of their faith. The UK is committed to delivering its humanitarian aid according to internationally recognised humanitarian principles. These principles ensure that humanitarian assistance is delivered to those who are most vulnerable and most in need of this assistance irrespective of race, religion or ethnicity. This includes minority religious communities, who are assessed by our partners when determining those most in need of protection and assistance.

Vulnerable minority groups will experience COVID-19 outbreaks differently. COVID-19 is likely to reinforce their marginalised position in society, their experience of discrimination, violence and stigma, and further limit their access to essential support and services. For this reason, guidance was circulated across DFID highlighting that inclusion must be central to our response and the specific contexts and needs of vulnerable religious communities and other vulnerable groups should be taken into account when developing practical programmes to tackle COVID-19.

On 8 June, Lord (Tariq) Ahmad of Wimbledon, Minister of State responsible for Human Rights, hosted a roundtable to hear from faith leaders and faith-based development organisations about whether minority faith communities were facing specific challenges during this COVID-19 pandemic.