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Burma: Cyclone Nargis

Volume 702: debated on Thursday 26 June 2008

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they are able to provide or locate small boats available for relief and rescue work in the Burmese delta following Cyclone Nargis; and what measures they will take to ensure that their £5 million of emergency aid and £18 million of poverty assistance is not misapplied or misappropriated by the Government of Burma. [HL3535]

On 3 June, the International Development Secretary announced an additional £10.5 million for the humanitarian response to Cyclone Nargis. This brings the UK's overall support to £27.5 million, the largest contribution from any single country so far. This is additional to the UK's long-term humanitarian programme in Burma on which we plan to spend £12 million this year, rising to £18 million in 2010-11.

As part of its contribution to the humanitarian relief effort, DfID has provided £5 million in logistical and relief supplies, including emergency water containers, shelter materials for 30,000 families, and 14 flat-bottomed boats and engines designed to make bulk distributions of relief items in the inland waters of the Irrawaddy delta. The boats have been given to Save the Children Fund. All DfID-donated shelter materials have been distributed through UN and NGOs on the ground.

The Department for International Development (DfID) does not channel any funds through the Government of Burma. DfID's aid is provided through the UN, NGOs and the Red Cross. We have confidence in the stringent monitoring mechanisms these partners have in place to ensure that DfID's aid reaches its intended recipients.