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Overseas Aid: Religious Discrimination

Question for Department for International Development

UIN 68291, tabled on 2 July 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps she is taking to ensure that (a) Christians and (b) other religious minorities are not discriminated against during the distribution of UK aid.

Answered on

7 July 2020

The UK Government works to ensure that Christian and other religious minorities are not discriminated against during the distribution of UK aid.

The UK is committed to delivering its 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. This includes vulnerable religious minorities.

Vulnerable religious minority groups will experience crises such as COVID-19 outbreaks differently. Crises are 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 of assistance.

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 the specific challenges minority faith communities are facing during this COVID-19 pandemic.

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