Tom Brake – 2016 Parliamentary Question to the Ministry of Defence

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Tom Brake on 2016-09-14.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the Answer of 13 June 2016 to Question 40083, what assessment his Department has made of the feasibility of the British military conducting and supporting air drops of humanitarian aid in Syria.

Mike Penning

The Ministry of Defence shares the view of the Department for International Development that aid delivered by road, by trusted humanitarian partners who can ensure it gets to those who need it most, remains the best way of getting help to affected populations. The UK has been clear that the use of air drops to deliver aid is high risk and should only be considered as a last resort when all other means have failed, and if it is an effective way of getting humanitarian supplies to people. Air drops require certain conditions to be met for successful delivery that are unlikely to be present on the ground in most of Syria including clear drop zones, safe access for the intended recipients, and co-ordination with authorities on the ground to oversee distribution.