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Palestinians: Lebanon

Volume 462: debated on Thursday 28 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions she has had with ministerial colleagues on providing aid to Palestinian refugees in Lebanon. (144777)

My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary has ongoing discussions with her ministerial colleagues on a range of issues on the Middle East including provision of aid. Officials are also in regular contact to discuss these issues.

The Department for International Development takes the lead on the provision of aid and has a significant programme of assistance to Palestinians in Lebanon. The UK is a regular and significant donor to the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), who are taking the leading role in the humanitarian response to the crisis at the Nahr El Bared refugee camp. The Government have committed £100 million of funding to UNRWA’s work in the region over the next five years. Historically, around 20 per cent. of UNRWA spending is on Lebanon.

The UK is also supporting the Lebanon operation of the non-governmental organisation ‘Mines Action Group’ (MAG) which is standing by to assist in clearing unexploded ordnance in the Palestinian refugee camp directly affected by the recent violence in the north of the country. We are providing £290,000 to MAG in Lebanon this financial year, with projected total funding to MAG’s work in the country at over £980,000 over the next three years.