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Pakistan: International Assistance

Volume 494: debated on Thursday 25 June 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what discussions he has had with his international counterparts on the shortfall in financial assistance for the UN appeal for internally displaced persons from Swat and other parts of Malakand in north west Pakistan; and what plans his Department has for the provision of further assistance to the appeal. (281907)

There have been regular discussions between members of the Cabinet, including the Prime Minister and Secretary of State for International Development, and the Government of Pakistan, on the needs of those displaced by conflict in Pakistan. The Prime Minister has also spoken with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the Minister of State for International Development, my hon. Friend the Member for Harrow, West (Mr. Thomas), recently met with John Holmes, UN Under-Secretary-General for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

The Department for International Development (DFID) and UK embassies have been lobbying international donors, including the European Commission, to increase their contribution to the response to the humanitarian emergency in North West Pakistan. Funding for the appeal has been increasing and currently stands at 35.5 per cent. We have so far provided £22 million of humanitarian aid, including £12.5 million in support of the UN’s appeal. This is the second largest bilateral contribution to the humanitarian effort. We will continue to monitor the humanitarian situation and funding position, and will consider additional funding if needed.