On 16th January 2018 Baroness Hodgson of Abinger asked Her Majesty’s Government “what help they are giving refugees and internally displaced persons in the countries bordering Syria who have been displaced by fighting and the actions of Daesh”. The Bishop of Leeds, Rt Revd Nick Baines, asked a follow up question:
The Lord Bishop of Leeds: My Lords, is the Minister aware that there is a generational challenge here? When one visits Kurdistan, in particular, the older generation of those who have been internally displaced or who are refugees still have a conception of home to which they might wish to return. The younger generation, whoever you talk to, do not see that home as existing. They want to be somewhere else. Are the long-term implications of this, particularly in relation to the education of children, being taken seriously by Her Majesty’s Government?
Lord Bates: They are being taken seriously. They are also being taken seriously by the UNDP which has the funding facility for stabilisation in Iraq. It is working with the federal Government in Iraq and also the regional government in Kurdistan based in Irbil. It is looking at these plans. One aspect of hope that I was encouraged by is that more than half the people who were displaced as a result of the fighting and the conflict in Iraq have now returned home. The reason why many do not return home is fear over security. That is one of the issues that needs to be addressed.