Press Notice 41, Session 2006-07

Final Evidence Session

DFID's Assistance to Burmese Internally Displaced People and Refugees on the Thai-Burma Border

Thursday 21 June 2007 at 2:00 pm
in the Thatcher Room, Portcullis House

From 2.00pm the Committee will be hearing evidence for its inquiry into DFID's Assistance to Burmese IDPs and Refugees on the Thai-Burma Border from the following witnesses:

At 2.00pm:

€ Maung Maung, National Council of the Union of Burma

At 2.30pm:

€ Gareth Thomas MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for International Development

€ Rt Hon Ian McCartney MP, Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office

[This evidence will be followed at approximately 3.30 pm by oral evidence on another of the Committee's inquiries (DFID's Country Programme in Vietnam.]

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This will be the final evidence session for the inquiry into DFID Assistance to Burmese IDPs and Refugees on the Thai-Burma Border. The session will be split into two panels. The first, with Maung Maung, General Secretary of the National Council of the Union of Burma and President of the Burma Institute for Democracy and Development, offers the opportunity to explore the views of a key Burmese exile on DFID's programme, and wider approaches towards humanitarian assistance to Burmese IDPs and refugees.

The second panel, with Gareth Thomas MP and Rt Hon Ian McCartney MP, brings the focus directly on to DFID and FCO's leadership and strategic vision for addressing Burma's humanitarian crisis. DFID's budget in Burma is relatively small, especially compared to countries with similar poverty levels. As well as exploring the reasons behind the level of aid, this session will assess how any increase in funds could be spent in order to maximize aid to Burmese IDPS and refugees. Issues such as co-ordination between donors and NGOs, the appropriateness of aid instruments, including the Three Diseases Fund, and collaboration between DFID and the FCO will be central to this assessment.

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Further Information:

The membership of the Committee is as follows: Malcolm Bruce MP (Chairman, Lib Dem), John Battle MP (Lab), Hugh Bayley MP (Lab), John Bercow MP (Con), Richard Burden MP (Lab),
Mr Quentin Davies MP (Con), James Duddridge MP (Con), Ann McKechin MP (Lab), Joan Ruddock MP (Lab), Mr Marsha Singh MP (Lab). Sir Robert Smith MP (Lib Dem)

Committee Contact: Chle Challender 020 7219 1522 or [email protected]

Media Enquiries: Alex Paterson, 020 7219 1589 or [email protected]

Committee website: www.parliament.uk/indcom

Watch committees and parliamentary debates online: www.parliamentlive.tv