Written questions and answers

Written questions allow Members of Parliament to ask government ministers for information on the work, policy and activities of government departments.

Historical written answers can be found in Hansard.

Find the latest written questions and answers for the 2019-21 session below. We welcome your feedback on this service.

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UIN

Unique Identifying Number – Every written question in the House of Commons has a UIN per Parliament. In the House of Lords each written questions has a UIN per parliamentary session.
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Q
Asked by Ben Lake
(Ceredigion)
Asked on: 24 July 2018
Department for International Development
Overseas Aid
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what estimate she has made of the amount of funding given to UK-based organisations that has been spent on (a) overseas aid and (b) administrative costs within the UK over the last five years.
A
Answered by: Harriett Baldwin
Answered on: 05 September 2018

UK Official Development Assistance (ODA) data is collected and reported according to a standard international classification produced by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). According to this classification, the amount of UK ODA delivered by UK and other donor country NGOs in the last five years is given in the table below:

UK ODA spend delivered by donor1-based NGO, 2012-20162

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

Net ODA (millions £)

£488m

£662m

£759m

£772m

£710m

Source: Statistics on International Development

1. Donor-based NGOs cover UK based NGOs as well as the NGOs of other donors. The figures included above will mainly consist of UK based NGOs however there are some amounts included for other donor NGOs delivering UK ODA, such as UK contributions to the Norway-based, Norwegian Refugee Council.

2. The latest data is for calendar year 2016 and figures for 2017 will be published this autumn.

This classification does not include ODA spend by other types of UK based institutions (research institutions, universities and private sector organisations).

The information for (b) is not held in the form requested and can only be collated at disproportionate cost.

DFID works to reduce administrative costs charged by suppliers. The policy, which ensures a consistent approach, is followed across all contracts. The policy can be found on Gov.uk: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/652367/Cost-Eligibility-Guidance.pdf

Q
(Preston)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 20 July 2018
Department for International Development
South Sudan: Refugees
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, whether her Department is planning to send emergency aid to refugees to South Sudan as a result of violence in that region.
A
Answered by: Harriett Baldwin
Answered on: 04 September 2018

The conflict in South Sudan continues to drive the largest refugee crisis in Africa. Ongoing violence and the severe humanitarian crisis have forced nearly 2.5 million people to flee their homes to neighbouring countries. Through bilateral programmes and multilateral partners, the Department for International Development has provided lifesaving aid and livelihood support to South Sudanese refugees, including 950,000 refugees in Uganda; up to 150,000 in Sudan; and 100,000 in Kenya. DFID is also a significant contributor to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, providing £140 million of flexible funding from 2017-2021, which includes support for South Sudanese refugees who have fled to Ethiopia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In addition to support for South Sudanese refugees in the region, through our Humanitarian Response and Resilience in South Sudan (HARRIS) programme, DFID South Sudan is providing humanitarian and livelihoods support to 1.8 million people who have been internally displaced by ongoing violence.

Q
Asked by Maria Eagle
(Garston and Halewood)
Asked on: 23 July 2018
Department for International Development
UN High Commissioner for Refugees: Expenditure
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, how much funding her Department has allocated to the UNHCR to support the processing of family links applications for each year since 2010.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 04 September 2018

The UK is a long-standing supporter of UNHCR, reflecting our shared commitment to international humanitarian, human rights and refugee law and ensuring that UK aid reaches the most marginalised. Since 2010, the UK has contributed in excess of USD 1.2 billion to UNHCR in support of their work to protect refugees and other forcibly displaced people. It is not possible to disaggregate the amount of this funding utilised solely on progressing family reunification applications, nor by those with familial links in the Liverpool area.

The Department for International Development has also committed to provide UNHCR with an annual contribution of £35m core unearmarked funding (up to 2021). This funding will support UNHCR’s work to assist and protect refugees, as well as ambitious system-wide improvements to deliver the greatest possible impact for those most in need.

Funding for UNHCR and for local authorities participating in resettling refugees under the Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme (VPRS) is provided by the Home Office.

Grouped Questions: 167143
Q
Asked by Maria Eagle
(Garston and Halewood)
Asked on: 23 July 2018
Department for International Development
UN High Commissioner for Refugees: Finance
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, if she will increase funding from her Department to the UNHCR to support the processing of family links applications in the Liverpool City Council area in each year for which information is available.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 04 September 2018

The UK is a long-standing supporter of UNHCR, reflecting our shared commitment to international humanitarian, human rights and refugee law and ensuring that UK aid reaches the most marginalised. Since 2010, the UK has contributed in excess of USD 1.2 billion to UNHCR in support of their work to protect refugees and other forcibly displaced people. It is not possible to disaggregate the amount of this funding utilised solely on progressing family reunification applications, nor by those with familial links in the Liverpool area.

The Department for International Development has also committed to provide UNHCR with an annual contribution of £35m core unearmarked funding (up to 2021). This funding will support UNHCR’s work to assist and protect refugees, as well as ambitious system-wide improvements to deliver the greatest possible impact for those most in need.

Funding for UNHCR and for local authorities participating in resettling refugees under the Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme (VPRS) is provided by the Home Office.

Grouped Questions: 167142
Q
Asked by Crispin Blunt
(Reigate)
Asked on: 23 July 2018
Department for International Development
Palestinians: ICT
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps she is taking to (a) assist the development of the IT sector in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and (b) foster links between UK and Palestinian companies.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 04 September 2018

The Department for International Development funds the Palestinian Market Development Programme (PMDP) which is currently supporting 18 Palestinian IT firms to strengthen their capability to work with British businesses. As part of this assistance PMDP is also working closely with the Portland Trust, the Palestinian Information Technology Association, the Palestinian Business Council and the Palestinian UK Country Trade Representative to develop business links between these firms and British businesses.

Asked on: 12 July 2018
Department for International Development
Syria: Humanitarian Aid
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations and reports they have received about the current humanitarian situation in Idlib.
A
Answered by: Lord Bates
Answered on: 24 July 2018

We are concerned about the dire humanitarian situation in Idlib where over two million civilians live in fear of attacks by the Assad regime and its backers. Over 50% of the Idlib population have been displaced from their homes, sometimes multiple times, stretching scarce resources beyond their limits and putting further strain on host communities. DFID-funded partners are providing the most vulnerable with food, education, healthcare and cash grants.

With our international partners, the UK continues to use our position in the UN Security Council and the International Syria Support Group to advocate for the protection of civilians, and calls on all parties to allow humanitarian agencies unfettered access to deliver aid to those most in need

Asked on: 17 July 2018
Department for International Development
Middle East: Water
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they have taken with other countries and UN agencies, including the World Meteorological Organisation, to help restore water to the rivers and ground water resources in war torn countries in the Middle East.
A
Answered by: Lord Bates
Answered on: 24 July 2018

The UK Government is working closely with partners, including UN agencies, to improve access to and management of water resources in a number of Middle Eastern countries.

Examples include:

- Technical support for national policy and planning on water resources in Syria, the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Lebanon and Jordan.

- Support for water resources management in Yemen, through the World Bank’s Pilot Programme for Climate Resilience.

- Working with UNICEF in Jordan to improve access to safe water and sanitation facilities for Syrian refugees and vulnerable Jordanians.

- Supporting the Water Authority of Jordan carry out urgently needed improvement of the wastewater system’s operational capacity, by building a new wastewater conveyor (redundancy pipe) benefitting a total of 2.3 million people.

- Support to the construction of the Central Gaza Desalination Plant and upgrading of the water distribution network in Gaza.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 19 July 2018
Department for International Development
UNRWA: Finance
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what recent assessment she has made of the effect of the funding shortfall for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees on front line services in (a) the West Bank, (b) Gaza, (c) Jordan, (d) Lebanon and (e) Syria.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 24 July 2018

UNRWA has a twin-track approach to addressing the funding shortfall: raising additional money from donors; and identifying those programme ‎activities which can be merged with its core activities or reviewing non-core activities which can be picked up by other providers. The UK supports UNRWA’s approach, and has increased our funding for UNRWA this year to £38.5 million so far.

Emergency Appeal activities currently being reviewed are:

1. West Bank

  • Emergency interventions such as cash for work activities, community mental health and mobile health work;

2. Gaza

  • Community mental health programmes and the job creation project;

3. Jordan & Lebanon

  • Palestinian refugees from Syria in Jordan and Lebanon will continue to receive UNRWA support, and the delivery of UNRWA’s core services are funded until late August;

4. Syria

  • UNRWA core services are currently funded until late August, and emergency services are secure until the end of 2018.
Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 19 July 2018
Department for International Development
Syria: Palestinians
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what recent estimate she has made of the number of refugees who have been displaced from Yarmouk refugee camp; and if she will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 24 July 2018

The recent Assad regime offensive on Yarmouk camp has resulted in the displacement of approximately 6,000 residents according to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency’s assessment.

When access permits, DFID is supporting the UN, NGOs and other partners to deliver life-saving assistance to those who remain in Yarmouk and those who were displaced following the siege, by providing food, healthcare, water and other life-saving relief.

Q
Asked by Jim Shannon
(Strangford)
Asked on: 16 July 2018
Department for International Development
Palestinians: Overseas Aid
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, pursuant to the Answer of 15 May 2018 to Question 141795, what are the terms of engagement for the independent financial audit into DFID's project spending in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 23 July 2018

Financial audits are carried out on all individual DFID programmes operating in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPTs). The body carrying out the audits, and the terms of reference vary depending on the DFID programme, however all independent financial audits provide assurance to DFID that funds are spent and managed in line with agreed programme activities. The overall DFID OPTs portfolio is also subject to the regular audit cycle of DFID’s Internal Audit Department and the National Audit Office.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 16 July 2018
Department for International Development
West Bank: Internally Displaced People
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what support her Department is providing to (a) victims of forcible transfer and (b) people at risk of forcible transfer in the West Bank.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 23 July 2018

The UK supports Palestinian communities at risk of forcible transfer in Area C of the West Bank through our legal aid programme, which helps residents challenge decisions in the Israeli legal system. In around 97% of the cases supported by this programme demolitions and evictions have been suspended. Additionally the UK supports nearly 500 Palestinian families living in Area C to remain on their land by improving infrastructure and enabling access to education and health services.

We are currently considering how best we can further support Palestinian communities at risk of forcible transfer in the West Bank, and I will update the House once this is confirmed.

Q
Asked by Joan Ryan
(Enfield North)
[R]
Close

Registered Interest

Indicates that a relevant interest has been declared.

[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 17 July 2018
Department for International Development
Palestinians: Terrorism
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, with reference to her Department's Memorandum of Understanding with the Palestinian Authority (PA), what discussions her Department has had with the PA on the PA Minister of Culture declaring March 16 as National Reading Day out of loyalty to the Martyrs.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 23 July 2018

The UK Government deplores any act of incitement to violence. Our partnership with the Palestinian Authority (PA) includes a commitment from the Palestinian leadership to adhere to the principle of non-violence and to tackle language and avoid actions that could incite violence or hatred. During my most recent visit to the Occupied Palestinian Territories in May 2018, I personally led this year’s high level annual meeting as part of our annual dialogue with the PA where I challenged the PA on a number of issues such as incitement, though I did not raise this specific incident. The UK continues to urge the Palestinian leadership to uphold this principle of non-violence.

Q
Asked by Joan Ryan
(Enfield North)
[R]
Close

Registered Interest

Indicates that a relevant interest has been declared.

[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 17 July 2018
Department for International Development
Palestinians: Terrorism
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what discussions her Department has had with the PA on the commemoration on Official PA TV on 20 April 2018 of the death of Abu Jihad who was responsible for the murder of 125 Israelis and his declaration that with our skulls we are paving the path to certain victory.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 23 July 2018

The UK Government deplores any act of incitement to violence. Our partnership with the Palestinian Authority (PA) includes a commitment from the Palestinian leadership to adhere to the principle of non-violence and to tackle language and avoid actions that could incite violence or hatred. During my most recent visit to the Occupied Palestinian Territories in May 2018, I personally led this year’s high level annual meeting as part of our annual dialogue with the PA where I challenged the PA on a number of issues such as incitement, though this allegation was not known at the time. The UK continues to urge the Palestinian leadership to uphold this principle of non-violence.

Q
Asked by Joan Ryan
(Enfield North)
[R]
Close

Registered Interest

Indicates that a relevant interest has been declared.

[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 17 July 2018
Department for International Development
Latifa Abu Hmeid
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, pursuant to the Answer of 11 September 2017 to Question 8641, and with reference to her Department's Memorandum of Understanding with the Palestinian Authority (PA), what discussions her Department has had with the PA on the honouring of Latifa Abu Hmeid by PA officials as a crown on all of our heads on 17 June 2018 as a result of her son, Islam Abu Hmeid, having murdered Israeli soldier Ronen Lyubarsk.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 23 July 2018

The UK Government deplores any act of incitement to violence. Our partnership with the Palestinian Authority (PA) includes a commitment from the Palestinian leadership to adhere to the principle of non-violence and to tackle language and avoid actions that could incite violence or hatred. During my most recent visit to the Occupied Palestinian Territories in May 2018, I personally led this year’s high level annual meeting as part of our annual dialogue with the PA where I challenged the PA on a number of issues such as incitement, though this allegation was not raised as it was unknown at the time. The UK continues to urge the Palestinian leadership to uphold this principle of non-violence.

Q
Asked by Joan Ryan
(Enfield North)
[R]
Close

Registered Interest

Indicates that a relevant interest has been declared.

[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 17 July 2018
Department for International Development
Palestinians: Overseas Aid
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, pursuant to the Answer of 15 May 2018 to Question 141795, on Palestinians: Overseas Aid, what the terms of engagement are for that independent financial audit.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 23 July 2018

Financial audits are carried out on all individual DFID programmes operating in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPTs). The body carrying out the audits, and the terms of reference vary depending on the DFID programme, however all independent financial audits provide assurance to DFID that funds are spent and managed in line with agreed programme activities. The overall DFID OPTs portfolio is also subject to the regular audit cycle of DFID’s Internal Audit Department and the National Audit Office.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 17 July 2018
Department for International Development
Palestinians: Overseas Aid
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, whether she plans to publish the first quarterly update and progress report on her Department's People for Peaceful Change project in the occupied Palestinian territories before the House rises for summer recess.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 23 July 2018

DFID is committed to ensuring the transparency of all UK official development assistance. The first annual review for this programme has been completed and submitted for publication on the Dev-Tracker website. It can take up to two months for the document to appear on the website. The first Quarterly Update will be distributed to interested Parliamentarians before summer recess.

Q
Asked by Joan Ryan
(Enfield North)
[R]
Close

Registered Interest

Indicates that a relevant interest has been declared.

[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 18 July 2018
Department for International Development
Palestinians: Overseas Aid
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, pursuant to the Answer of 15 May 2018 to Question 141795, on Palestinians: Overseas Aid, which the auditing body was that was charged with carrying out the independent financial audit.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 23 July 2018

Financial audits are carried out on all individual DFID programmes operating in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPTs). The body carrying out the audits, and the terms of reference for these audits vary depending on the DFID programme in operation in the OPTs, however all programmes receive full independent financial audits to provide assurance to DFID that disbursed funds are spent and managed in line with agreed programme activities. The overall DFID OPTs programme portfolio is also subject to the regular audit cycle of DFID’s Internal Audit Department and the National Audit Office.

Q
Asked by Joan Ryan
(Enfield North)
[R]
Close

Registered Interest

Indicates that a relevant interest has been declared.

[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 18 July 2018
Department for International Development
Palestinians: Television
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, with reference to her Department’s Memorandum of Understanding with the Palestinian Authority (PA), what discussions her Department has had with the PA on the decision by official Palestinian Authority TV to honour Habbes Bayyoud, Muhammad Nawarah, and Jawad Abu Qara, who murdered two Israeli reserve soldiers in October 2000 in an episode of Giants of Endurance, a programme screened on official PA TV on 16 June 2018.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 23 July 2018

The UK Government deplores any act of incitement to violence. Our partnership with the Palestinian Authority (PA) includes a commitment from the Palestinian leadership to adhere to the principle of non-violence and to tackle language and avoid actions that could incite violence or hatred. During my most recent visit to the Occupied Palestinian Territories in May 2018, I personally led this year’s high level annual meeting as part of our annual dialogue with the PA where I challenged the PA on a number of issues such as incitement. The UK continues to urge the Palestinian leadership to uphold this principle of non-violence.

Q
Asked by Joan Ryan
(Enfield North)
[R]
Close

Registered Interest

Indicates that a relevant interest has been declared.

[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 18 July 2018
Department for International Development
Palestinians: Terrorism
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, pursuant to the Answer of 11 May 2018 to Question 141671, whether the Palestinian Authority has made decision on whether to provide payments to Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails directly.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 23 July 2018

The UK is not aware of any plans for the Palestinian Authority to provide direct payments to Palestinian Prisoners.

Q
Asked by Keith Vaz
(Leicester East)
Asked on: 13 July 2018
Department for International Development
Libya: Overseas Aid
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, which three programmes in Libya receive the largest amount of funding from her Department.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 19 July 2018

The UK is at the forefront of international efforts to support Libya’s political stability and reform. DFID programmes provide much needed humanitarian and healthcare assistance to the most vulnerable. As part of DFID’s £75 million migration programme working along the Central Mediterranean route, up to £5 million will be allocated to humanitarian assistance and protection for migrants and refugees in Libya. In addition, a two-year programme worth £3.29 million focusses on multi sector humanitarian assistance and building capacity of primary health care services. Alongside this, we continue to help fund the European Union Trust Fund, which works in a number of countries, including Libya, where it focuses on improving conditions for migrants in detention centres. The UK’s total contribution to the North Africa window of the Fund is €18m.

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