On 17th March 2015 the Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, received three written answers to questions of Government about assistance to civilians displaced by conflict in Syria and Iraq:
The Lord Bishop of St Albans: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what financial and other support has been given, or will be given, to the governments of Lebanon and Jordan to ensure they can keep their borders open for Syrian refugees fleeing the conflict in that country.
Baroness Northover: The Department for International Development has committed £191 million to Lebanon and £164 million to Jordan as part of our response to the crisis in Syria. UK support is providing clean water and hygiene facilities, food and household items, cash assistance, medical care, better quality accommodation, winterisation and cold weather protection, transportation services, early grade learning, primary education and support for small scale agriculture for refugee populations and the communities which host them.
The Lord Bishop of St Albans: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what support they have given to traumatised Syrian refugees in Lebanon and Jordan.
Baroness Northover: The Department for International Development has to date committed £800 million to help those affected by the conflict in Syria. This support includes funding to provide training for health workers in emergency first aid, trauma care, clinical management of rape, mental healthcare and psychosocial support to assist displaced Syrians in Lebanon, Jordan, other states neighbouring Syria and within Syria itself who have experienced conflict-related trauma, including sexual violence. By the end of September 2014, the UK had supported over 630,000 children and over 55,400 adults with psychosocial interventions in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and the wider region.
Syria and Iraq
The Lord Bishop of St Albans To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of whether further military action by coalition forces in Syria and Iraq will further displace civilians; and what plans are in place if that happens.
Baroness Northover: The UK and our coalition partners are doing all we can to minimise the risks of civilian impact of coalition military action. The UN has reported that airstrikes have caused some local-level internal displacement, but the ongoing conflict is the main cause of displacement of civilians. In both Syria and Iraq, the UN carries out regular humanitarian contingency planning exercises, including preparing for the potential impact of military operations. UK humanitarian advisors on the ground are also monitoring the situation closely and will continue to work closely with the UN, international partners and the Government of Iraq to ensure that effective plans and coordination structures are in place to respond to a variety of scenarios.
The UK is also providing substantial humanitarian assistance for those affected by the conflict. To date the UK has pledged £800 million to respond to Syria crisis and a further £39.5 million for those affected by conflict in Iraq.