Skip to main content


Volume 594: debated on Wednesday 18 March 2015

The UK has pledged £800 million in response to the Syria crisis, providing food, medical care and relief items to some of those most affected, including children. That includes the £50 million that I announced at the UN General Assembly for the No Lost Generation initiative, which provides education, psychosocial support and protection for Syrian children affected by the crisis in Syria and the region.

Children are affected by crises around the world. What measures has my right hon. Friend’s Department taken in Vanuatu, particularly to help children, following the devastation caused by Cyclone Pam?

Work is already under way to help ensure that around 50,000 children can get back to school quickly. As my hon. Friend will be aware, many people are now in evacuation centres, so I can give him some reassurance that work is already under way.

I am sure that the Secretary of State has read the report by the all-party group on protecting children in armed conflict and is considering its recommendations. Given the growing and unprecedented number of childhoods lost though conflict, will she commit to having someone lead on that vital issue within her Department?

The hon. Lady obviously has not yet received the letter I signed off to her earlier this week, which says precisely that. I commend her for the work she has done on the International Development Committee and on her interest in what is clearly a vital area. I can assure her that the Department will work with her.

11. Many of the 5.6 million displaced children in Syria are struggling to access education. What role is my right hon. Friend playing to ensure that we do everything we can to keep Syrian children learning? (908153)

For those children in places such as Jordan and Lebanon we have programmes under way to ensure that they can double-shift with local children in schools. For the several million children still in Syria, ensuring that they can access education is clearly far harder.

The plight of young people in Syria is being used by pernicious elements online to recruit young people from this country to go out to Syria. What steps are being taken to ensure that that is minimised?

My right hon. Friend the Home Secretary is working hard, as part of her work on combating extremism, to ensure that those sorts of messages are disrupted so that young people in our country understand the huge risks they would face were they to break the law and go over to Syria to do jihad.