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Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office

Volume 709: debated on Monday 21 February 2022

Afghanistan Humanitarian Crisis: UK Response

The following are extracts from the urgent question on Afghanistan Humanitarian Crisis: UK Response on 9 February 2022.

As I said last month, we are also working to encourage the World Bank, as a matter of urgency, to repurpose the Afghanistan reconstruction trust fund, which would unlock a further $1.5 billion. Indeed, I had discussions with my officials about that just this morning.

[Official Report, 9 February 2022, Vol. 708, c. 944.]

Letter of correction from the Under-Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, the hon. Member for Chelmsford (Vicky Ford).

An error has been identified in the response given to my right hon. Friend the Member for Sutton Coldfield (Mr Mitchell).

The correct response should have been:

As I said last month, we are also working to encourage the World Bank, as a matter of urgency, to repurpose the Afghanistan reconstruction trust fund, which would unlock a total $1.5 billion. Indeed, I had discussions with my officials about that just this morning.

We are working with all the relevant partners—as I have said, the World Food Programme and the many other UN organisations—to make sure that the funding we are putting in is getting to where it is needed. That is supporting 4.4 million people at the moment, and as I have said, this will go up to 6.6 million when we include the support we are also putting in for health, water, protection, shelter and so on.

[Official Report, 9 February 2022, Vol. 708, c. 948.]

Letter of correction from the Under-Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, the hon. Member for Chelmsford (Vicky Ford).

An error has been identified in the response given to the hon. Member for Oldham East and Saddleworth (Debbie Abrahams).

The correct response should have been:

We are working with all the relevant partners—as I have said, the World Food Programme and the many other UN organisations—to make sure that the funding we are putting in is getting to where it is needed. That is supporting 4.4 million people at the moment, and as I have said, this will go up to 6.1 million when we include the support we are also putting in for health, water, protection, shelter and so on.

The funding we are giving is being channelled through many different organisations, including UN organisations such as the World Food Programme, and through the UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs into local organisations too. My colleague, the noble Lord responsible for this area, meets them regularly to discuss any blockages in getting the food there. It is a really challenging and heartbreaking situation—everybody understands that—and my colleague is meeting them regularly. That is the way this is currently being funded to make sure that the funding is going not through Government or Taliban organisations, but through those humanitarian aid organisations.

[Official Report, 9 February 2022, Vol. 708, c. 948.]

Letter of correction from the Under-Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, the hon. Member for Chelmsford (Vicky Ford).

An error has been identified in the response given to the hon. Member for Huddersfield (Mr Sheerman).

The correct response should have been:

The funding we are giving is being channelled through many different organisations, including UN organisations such as the World Food Programme, and through the UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs into local organisations too. My colleague, the noble Lord responsible for this area, meets them regularly to discuss any blockages in getting the food there. It is a really challenging and heartbreaking situation—everybody understands that—and my colleague is meeting them regularly. That is the way this is currently being funded to make sure that the funding is going not through the Taliban, but through those humanitarian aid organisations.

I completely agree that it is important to keep money flowing through the Afghan economy and, as I said, we are working with the World Bank on that. On 25 January—a couple of weeks ago—the UK also supported the Asian Development Bank with a £405 million support package for the Afghan people, funded from the Asian Development Fund.

[Official Report, 9 February 2022, Vol. 708, c. 951.]

Letter of correction from the Under-Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, the hon. Member for Chelmsford (Vicky Ford).

An error has been identified in the response given to the hon. Member for Westminster North (Ms Buck).

The correct response should have been:

I completely agree that it is important to keep money flowing through the Afghan economy and, as I said, we are working with the World Bank on that. On 25 January—a couple of weeks ago—the UK also supported the Asian Development Bank with a $405 million support package for the Afghan people, funded from the Asian Development Fund.