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Overseas Aid

Question for Department for International Development

UIN 67646, tabled on 1 July 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps she is taking to help ensure that UK aid reaches (a) vulnerable religious minorities and (b) other vulnerable groups of people.

Answered on

8 July 2020

The UK Government works to ensure that all aid reaches the most vulnerable, including those from religious communities and other vulnerable groups, such as disabled people and women and girls.

The UK is committed to delivering its humanitarian aid during the COVID-19 pandemic 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. This includes vulnerable religious communities and other vulnerable groups, who are assessed by our partners when determining those most in need of protection and assistance.

Vulnerable 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 with faith leaders and the chief executives of faith-based development organisations. The meeting covered how faith groups are contributing to the response to COVID-19; where those interventions have been most effective; the challenges for faith groups, and, how DFID could work more effectively with faith groups.