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Overseas Aid

Question for Department for International Development

UIN 68317, tabled on 2 July 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps her Department is taking to help ensure that the situation of religious minorities is considered as part of decisions on the allocation of UK Official Development Assistance.

Answered on

9 July 2020

The UK Government works to ensure that Official Development Assistance is allocated 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 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 hosted a roundtable to hear from faith leaders and faith-based development organisations about the specific challenges minority faith communities were facing during this COVID-19 pandemic.