Helen Jones – 2016 Parliamentary Question to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Helen Jones on 2016-04-13.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what discussions he has had with his European partners about asylum for Yazidi women who were enslaved by Daesh to allow them to access medical and psychological support.

Mr Tobias Ellwood

We regularly discuss the plight of Yazidi women and girls in Iraq and Syria with our European partners. The Foreign Secretary, my Rt Hon. Friend the Member for Runnymede and Weybridge (Mr Hammond) discussed the humanitarian implications of the ongoing conflicts in Iraq and Syria with members of the EU Foreign Affairs Council in December 2015.

The UK is committed to supporting the victims of Daesh’s brutality. In Syria and the wider region, the Department for International Development (DFID) is funding specialised services for survivors and those at risk of gender-based violence. This includes safe spaces, psychosocial support, cash assistance and reproductive healthcare. In Iraq, DFID has deployed two experts to work with the UN to improve the humanitarian response to sexual and gender-based violence.

Over the course of this Parliament we are resettling 20,000 of the most vulnerable Syrian refugees to the UK. Resettlement is only one strand of our efforts in the region. It is complemented by the UK’s significant humanitarian aid programme and diplomatic efforts to end the conflicts. We believe that this approach is the most effective way to ensure that the UK’s help has the greatest impact for those who remain in the region. To date, we have pledged over £2.3 billion of humanitarian assistance in response to the Syria crisis, and provided an additional £79.5 million to Iraq to help support the most vulnerable.