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United Nations: Humanitarian Aid

Volume 478: debated on Thursday 26 June 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps his Department is taking to support reform of the UN system for delivery of aid policy. (213245)

The Department for International Development (DFID) is a strong supporter of the UN and recognises that it is a key partner in achieving the MDG's. $15 billion of all development aid flows through the UN. The UK spent £615 million through the UN in 2005. The high level panel report recommended key reforms to the way the UN works at country and the central level.

In 2007 DFID provided catalytic funding to assist the transition of the Delivering as One initiative in eight pilot countries as well as active support of the UN country teams as they develop their new plans for a more streamlined UN programme through effective co-ordination between the UN, national governments and donor partners, that support national governments' own development priorities.

DFID is playing a significant role in supporting the transition to a more strategic and coherent programme, better placed to support national capacity.

The success of some of the pilots has led to another 30 governments and UN country teams expressing interest to become part of the next phase of the One UN to improve the coherence and effectiveness of their programmes.

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development where the United Nations Development Programme's SURGE Capacity Initiative has been used in crises since its introduction in 2006. (213248)

The United Nations Development Programme's (UNDP) Immediate Crisis Response, or SURGE, has been deployed in the following crisis situations:

Burma following Cyclone Nargis, May 2008;

Cameroon in response to a sudden influx of Chadian refugees, February 2008;

Chad after post-elections violence had destroyed UNDP's office in the country, February 2008;

Bangladesh following Cyclone Sidr, 2007;

Liberia after a string of natural disasters, 2007;

Solomon Islands following a tsunami, 2007;

Sudan in support of contingency planning for a potential expansion of support to Darfur, 2007.