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Syrian Refugees

Volume 576: debated on Wednesday 5 March 2014

7. What assessment she has made of the effectiveness of the UK’s programme of support for Syrian refugees. (902826)

The UK has allocated £265 million to support refugees in countries neighbouring Syria, providing food for more than 320,000 people per month, 71,000 medical consultations, and an improved water supply for more than 40,000 people. We are working closely with Governments, the UN and others to ensure that the overall international response builds resilience and is implemented effectively.

What discussions has the Secretary of State had with Syrian refugees about their hopes of returning to Syria?

I have had many discussions, not least in my most recent visit to a UNHCR registration centre in Lebanon earlier this year, which is handling 1,000 refugees a day. Those I spoke to are determined to go back and rebuild their country, and they want to get their lives back on track. The work that we are doing both with humanitarian support and in pushing for a political settlement will help them to do that eventually.

Given that the Assad regime has been targeting journalists, aid workers and medical staff, are we getting a full picture of what is going on in Syria and the refugee system?

As the hon. Gentleman knows, access has been incredibly difficult when getting humanitarian support to refugees, and we therefore do not have a full picture. What we do know, however, is shocking and horrific, which is why it is great news that we finally have a UN Security Council resolution to get access after many months of trying. I assure him that the UK will be at the forefront of ensuring that we help people affected by this crisis.