Skip to main content

Sri Lanka

Volume 516: debated on Wednesday 13 October 2010

7. What recent assessment he had made of the effectiveness of his Department’s projects to support internally displaced people in Sri Lanka. (16521)

DFID has no direct bilateral development programmes with Sri Lanka. However, over the past two years we have committed £13.5 million to humanitarian funding, all through the UN, the Red Cross and NGOs, to target conflict-affected civilians and displaced persons. Our humanitarian programme has been effective and made a significant difference to thousands of Sri Lankan families.

As a Member with a large Tamil community in my constituency, I am repeatedly approached by my constituents who are struggling to locate loved ones displaced as a result of the conflict in Sri Lanka. What recent discussions has the Minister had with the Sri Lankan Government about these matters, and what reassurance can I give to my constituents that the UK Government are doing all they can to assist members of the Tamil diaspora in their attempts to find their friends and families?

We work closely with the Foreign Office, and Ministers in both Departments are speaking to the Sri Lankans about that matter. Some 270,000 displaced people were released or returned to their homes. There are now only about 30,000 remaining in camps. There is access to most of these, except where the camps contain about 7,500 former combatants.