21664 - Syria: Humanitarian Aid (Answered)

Mrs Anne Main
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps she is taking to provide assistance to people in Madaya, Syria; and if she will work with allies of the UK, the United Nations and non-governmental organisations to provide humanitarian relief to that region.

Mr Desmond Swayne

The UK has been at the forefront of the response to the crisis in Syria and the region. We have pledged over £1.1 billion, making us the second largest bilateral donor after the US. We also co-sponsored and lobbied hard for the passage of UN Security Council Resolutions 2165, 2191 and 2258 which call on the parties to allow rapid, safe and unhindered access for humanitarian aid to besieged and hard to reach places. We are working to bring about an inclusive political solution to end the conflict in Syria through our engagement in the International Syria Support Group, with the UN Special Envoy for Syria, and with the Syrian Opposition.

The UK has provided support to the UN and international NGOs (INGOs) since the start of the conflict to deliver aid in hard to reach and besieged areas of Syria, including Madaya.

On 11 January 2016, the UN, the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent confirmed that aid convoys of humanitarian assistance had arrived in the hard to reach towns of Madaya, Foah and Kefraya. Two further convoys have been given permission. The convoy is expected to meet survival needs of the 40,000 persons inside Madaya, and of 20,000 people inside Foah and Kefraya. DFID funding to UN agencies is directly supporting the current convoy with food parcels, nutritional supplements, essential drugs and non-food items including winterisation kits.

The UK worked with partners in the UN Security Council to put humanitarian access in Madaya, and across Syria, on the Security Council’s agenda on Monday 11 January.

In February 2016, the UK will invite world leaders to London for a Conference to support immediate needs and identify longer-term solutions to address the needs of those affected by the crisis.