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Burma: Overseas Aid

Volume 498: debated on Thursday 29 October 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much his Department has provided to emergency relief initiatives to support those affected by the famine in Chin State, Burma, in 2009; and whether he plans to increase that level of assistance in 2010. (296374)

The Department for International Development (DFID) has committed a total of £880,000 for humanitarian assistance in response to severe food shortages in Chin State. Of this commitment, £600,000 was disbursed towards the end of 2008 and £155,000 has been disbursed so far during 2009. We expect to disburse the remaining £125,000 shortly.

We are keeping the humanitarian situation in Chin State under close review and are considering, in consultation with the United Nations and other donors, how best to address longer-term food security needs in Chin State and other parts of Burma.

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if his Department will provide assistance to cross-border humanitarian aid initiatives across the India-Burma border, for the purpose of supplying aid to remote parts of Chin State which cannot be reached through in-country initiatives. (296375)

The Department of International Development (DFID) has no plans to provide funding for cross-border aid from India to Burma.

DFID has committed £880,000 for humanitarian assistance in response to the severe food shortages experienced in Chin State. This assistance is being delivered through the United Nations Development Programme, the World Food Programme and their local partners, which have access to all parts of Chin State from within Burma.

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much his Department has provided in cross-border humanitarian assistance to eastern Burma in 2009; and whether he plans to increase that level of assistance in 2010. (296376)

Approximately £360,000 of funding from the Department for International Development (DFID) is being used by non-governmental organisations to provide cross-border humanitarian assistance from Thailand to eastern Burma in 2009. We anticipate that this figure will increase in 2010.

DFID is also providing approximately £500,000 in 2009 for cross-border aid from China to Shan and Kachin States in north-eastern Burma. Proposals to increase this funding in 2010 are under consideration.