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Emergencies: Mod/Dfid Collaboration

Volume 592: debated on Thursday 30 July 1998

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asked Her Majesty's Government:How the Ministry of Defence and the Department for International Development will in future work together to ensure that the military and civilian components of the United Kingdom's response to complex emergencies are dovetailed to the maximum effect. [HL2902]

We are eager to see our Armed Forces used to alleviate the effects of disasters or in response to other complex emergencies where they can make an appropriate and effective contribution to complement the efforts of the civil sector.To co-ordinate better our response to emergencies, we have been reinforcing our links with the Department for International Development, DFID, in this area. Senior officials in DFID have visited our Permanent Joint Headquarters for talks with the Chief of Joint Operations, and, in addition, there have been policy discussions between senior officials of the two departments. There is now a regular dialogue between MoD and DFID, including frequent contacts between our respective operational planning staffs. We are confident that these would lead to an effective co-ordinated response to an emergency in the event that the use of military assets was appropriate.