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Ilois: Finance

Question for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office

UIN 67089, tabled on 1 November 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what projects have been funded from the £40 million Chagossian Support Package in the last five years since 16 November 2016; and what effect that funding has had on the livelihoods of Chagossian communities in (a) Mauritius, (b) the Seychelles and (c) the UK.

Answered on

9 November 2021

In the UK, several projects have been funded by the Chagossian Support Package, including:

  • A health and wellbeing project launched in Wythenshawe to increase Chagossians' digital access through the provision of IT equipment;
  • A music project launched in Crawley focusing on increasing employability, wellbeing and awareness of Chagossian music and culture among the local community;
  • The provision of English language courses at Crawley College to help adult learners attain the requisite language skills to enhance their employability;
  • The provision of statements of comparability by the UK National Information Centre, enabling recognition and evaluation of international qualifications and skills attained outside of the UK.

In Mauritius, the British Council has provided English language courses to over 200+ participants (since 2019). In addition, the British Council has launched a business skills training programme which supports Chagossian women to develop and grow their businesses. 18 trainees are due to complete the inaugural course in December 2021. There have also been eight heritage visits to the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT) since 2017 involving 154 Chagossians. The last one was in February 2020. Visits are currently suspended due to COVID-19.  The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office is continuing to seek opportunities to establish projects for Chagossians living in the Seychelles.