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Pakistan

Volume 510: debated on Wednesday 2 June 2010

6. What proportion of his Department’s aid to Pakistan was intended for minority groups in the federally administered tribal areas of Pakistan in the last 12 months. (446)

Of £140 million in assistance to Pakistan between April 2009 and March 2010, my Department provided £40.2 million in humanitarian aid for people displaced by conflict in federally administered tribal areas and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. The UK’s humanitarian assistance targets those most in need, regardless of population group, following internationally agreed principles of neutrality and impartiality.

I thank the Secretary of State for his response, and I add my congratulations to him on his appointment as Secretary of State and to his team. Does he agree that it is not only essential to win hearts and minds among the general populace, but vital to try to assist minority groups in those regions through our aid efforts?

I thank the hon. Gentleman for his question and underline the point that I made in my answer—that our humanitarian assistance targets those most in need, following internationally agreed principles of neutrality and impartiality. I can tell him that I shall shortly be going to Pakistan, and I shall look very specifically at the point that he has made. I can tell him also that since the 2008 conflict, the UK has given humanitarian support, providing shelter, food, health care, clean water and sanitation in order to help people recover their livelihoods when they return to their home. I know that that has been a matter of concern to him.