Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead – 2016 Parliamentary Question to the Department for International Development

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead on 2016-01-27.

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what specific engagement they have had with the besieged people of the Syrian town of Madaya.

Baroness Verma

The "Supporting Syria and the Region London 2016" Conference was held on 4 February last week, and more than US$11 billion was pledged to support people in Syria and the region affected by the conflict, the largest amount raised in one day for a humanitarian crisis. Commitments made at the Conference will help to create 1.1 million jobs and provide education to an additional 1 million children. The UK remains at the forefront of the response to the crisis in Syria and the region. We have doubled our commitment and have now pledged a total more than £2.3 billion, our largest ever response to a single humanitarian crisis.

On 11 January, the UN, Red Cross and Syrian Arab Red Crescent confirmed aid convoys had arrived in the hard to reach towns of Madaya, Foah and Kefraya. Further convoys have since arrived. These convoys are expected to enable 40,000 people inside Madaya, and 20,000 people inside Foah and Kefraya, to survive. UK funding to UN agencies directly supported these convoys with food parcels and medicine. This is part of the UK’s ongoing support to the UN and international NGOs since the start of the conflict to deliver aid in hard to reach and besieged areas of Syria.

The UN, the Red Cross Movement and NGO partners are best placed to deliver aid to besieged and hard to reach areas. They have the mandate, expertise and capacity to assess needs and deliver an appropriate, timely response. We continue to press for them to be granted full access to all areas in need.

We will not stop in our efforts, whether through hard work on a political solution that will deal with the root cause of the problem or through humanitarian efforts, which provide immediate, life-saving relief. The shocking situation in hard to reach and besieged areas underlines the vital work of aid agencies and shows how important it is that they have the assurance of knowing that they have the resources to keep going.