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Repatriation: Finance

Volume 507: debated on Tuesday 16 March 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what criteria are used to decide whether a country receives funding from the Returns and Reintegration Fund; what role the (a) Department for International Development and (b) UK Border Agency play in the management of the fund; and if he will make a statement. (322336)

The overall aim of the Returns and Reintegration Fund (RRF) is to increase significantly the number of foreign national prisoners (FNPs) and failed asylum seekers (FASs) who return to their countries of origin and to ensure their effective reintegration into their home communities. Funding is therefore allocated to countries where we can run projects that will bring about an increase in the rate of return of FASs and FNPs.

The Returns and Reintegration Fund is managed by a cross-Government senior official steering group, which is accountable to Ministers. Senior officials from the Department for International Development and UK Border Agency are members of that steering group.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how much funding (a) his Department, (b) the Department for International Development and (c) the UK Border Agency have provided for the Returns and Reintegration Fund in (i) 2008-09 and (ii) 2009-10; whether any such funding is classified as development assistance; and if he will make a statement. (322337)

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) provided £2.5 million to the Returns and Reintegration Fund (RRF) in 2008-09. There will be no further direct financial contribution to the fund from the FCO in 2009-10, but the Department supports the RRF through staffing and support throughout its global network. The Department for International Development provided £5 million to the RRF in 2008-09 and £11.5 million in 2009-10. UK Border Agency provided £4 million to the RRF in 2008-09 and £2.5 million in 2009-10.

Only one RRF project in Jamaica currently to the value of approximately £1.5 million is classified as development assistance. Money transferred to the RRF from the Department for International Development is separate to the Department's Official Development Assistance eligible budget.