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Lebanon: Overseas Aid

Volume 468: debated on Monday 26 November 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions his Department has had with the Lebanese Government on emergency aid and reconstruction relief to those displaced by fighting in the Nahr al-Bared refugee camp. (166985)

I have been asked to reply.

The UK Government engage with the Lebanese Government through the British embassy in Beirut. The embassy has regular discussions with the Lebanese Palestinian Dialogue Committee, in the Prime Minister’s Office, which is responsible for co-ordinating relief efforts and also with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) for Palestinian Refugees, which oversee reconstruction relief. Her Majesty’s ambassador to Lebanon visited Nah al-Bared camp on 6 November 2007.

DFID does not have a bilateral programme or presence in Lebanon. This is consistent with the UK’s policy to increasingly support middle income countries through multinational organisations such as the World Bank and the European Commission. However, DFID is providing UNRWA with long term financial support (£100 million) up to 2011 to help them address problems facing Palestinian communities in Lebanon and elsewhere. We are also providing almost £1 million to the Mines Advisory Group (MAG) for the clearance of unexploded ordnance in Lebanon.