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Iraq

Volume 455: debated on Tuesday 16 January 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development whether the Government plans to make a contribution to the UN High Commission for Refugees' emergency appeal for refugees fleeing violence in Iraq; and if he will make a statement. (115275)

DFID is very concerned about the humanitarian situation in Iraq and we are in close contact with the United Nations and Red Cross to discuss what more the UK can do. UN agencies estimate that some 1.7 million Iraqis are currently displaced internally and up to two million others have fled to nearby countries. We are currently discussing with UN agencies and the international Red Cross where funds can be most effectively placed to deliver assistance on the ground. No decision has yet been taken over whether we will be contributing to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees appeal.

DFID is already supporting humanitarian agencies in Iraq. Since 2003 we have contributed over £100 million of assistance to the UN and Red Cross. This includes £85 million to UN humanitarian appeals and £32 million to the international Red Cross—we made a contribution of £4 million to the 2006 Red Cross appeal. Additionally, DFID provided £70 million to the International Reconstruction Fund Facility for Iraq (IRFFI), which provides support to IDPs or internaly displaced persons through UN trust funds cluster F (which is identified for humanitarian needs).