On 19th July 2017 the Earl of Sandwich asked Her Majesty’s Government “what further action they are taking to address the ongoing refugee crisis and acute food emergency in East Africa.” The Bishop of Salisbury, Rt Revd Nick Holtham, asked a follow-up question:
The Lord Bishop of Salisbury: My Lords, I thank the Minister for his responses. In the case of South Sudan, where conflict is the main cause of the crisis but it is also being further exacerbated by low rainfall, what is the UK doing in relation to internally displaced people? Perhaps I may also ask him to comment on the very different example of Burundi. Is this also an opportunity for him to say a bit more about how UK overseas aid is not a charity but is in our enlightened self-interest?
Lord Bates: I agree with that assessment. In terms of what our aid is actually doing, at the basic level, during 2017 it will put 200,000 girls into education and help to construct and support 2,000 schools. It will provide food and medicine. We have committed £100 million to this crisis, which is one of the largest interventions that we have made. Moreover, we made it very early on and we have been leading in this area. What we are also trying to do is help refugees in neighbouring countries, where significant pressures are developing as the result of 2 million people having fled into them to escape from the fighting and violence.