The Bishop of Gloucester asked a question on women’s education in sub-Saharan Africa, during a debate on government plans to combat HIV, tabled for World AIDS day on 1st December 2022:
The Lord Bishop of Gloucester: My Lords, in sub-Saharan Africa, adolescent girls and young women are three times more likely to acquire HIV than adolescent boys and men. Can the Minister say what is being done to fund programmes which help to keep girls in education, which we know reduces their vulnerability to HIV by up to 50%?
The Bishop of Coventry asked a question about the UN Sustainable Development Goals on 13th October 2022:
The Lord Bishop of Coventry: My Lords, the latest Goalkeepers report from the Gates Foundation finds that we need to speed up the pace of our progress by five times if we are to stand any chance of meeting the goals. Mindful of the noble Lord’s earlier answers, does he agree with the report’s emphasis on providing to sub-Saharan Africa and other low-income regions the necessary support and investment in agricultural R&D to provide for innovative inventions such as drought-resistant maize and short-duration rice?
The Bishop of St Albans asked a question about the government’s assessment of the famine in the Horn of Africa on 13th October 2022:
The Lord Bishop of St Albans: To ask His Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the famine in the Horn of Africa.
Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park (Con): My Lords, the crisis in east Africa continues to worsen. Drought is causing significant levels of food insecurity. Over 51 million people in the region are estimated to be facing severe food insecurity, and of particular concern is the recent data from the Bay region in Somalia projecting that famine is likely to occur this year. The UK is a major humanitarian donor to the east Africa region and UK-funded activities are making a difference and saving lives. In the financial year 2022-23, the UK intends to provide approximately £156 million in humanitarian aid across east Africa. Of this amount, nearly 50% has already been allocated to help those affected by this devastating crisis.
On 21st July 2022 the House of Lords debated the impact of the blockade of Ukrainian ports on food insecurity in developing countries. The Bishop of St Albans spoke in the debate:
The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, I pay tribute to the noble Lord, Lord Alton, for his brilliant introduction to this debate. I also welcome my colleague, the right reverend Prelate the Bishop of Southwell and Nottingham, and congratulate him on his maiden speech. I know he has huge experience to offer to this House and will be drawing not least on the huge successes and, indeed, some of the challenges of the east Midlands, where he is based. We look forward to hearing much more from him.
Next Tuesday we will start the next Lambeth Conference. Hundreds of bishops are gathering from all round the world. They are flying into this country as we speak, including many bishops from the whole of Africa and parts of Asia, and we are going to be meeting many of these people who, in their dioceses, are facing the famine that is now ahead of us. We hope that will be an opportunity to get first-hand reports of what the challenges are and how we might be able to try to respond, to alleviate some of the terrible suffering facing our world and particularly the Horn of Africa.
On 21st July 2022 the Bishop of Southwell and Nottingham, Rt Revd Paul Williams, delivered his maiden speech in the House of Lords during Lord Alton’s debate, “that this House takes note of (1) the impact of the Russian blockade of Ukrainian ports on food insecurity in developing countries, and (2) its contribution to the danger of famine in (a) the Horn of Africa, and (b) East Africa.”
The Lord Bishop of Southwell and Nottingham (Maiden Speech): My Lords, I begin by thanking fellow Members for their gracious welcome and expressing my gratitude to the parliamentary staff and officers who have so kindly supported my introduction to the House.
It is an honour to make this maiden speech in such an important debate, which focuses so clearly on the needs of the most vulnerable: those affected by the sudden steep rise in global food prices resulting from Russia’s terrible war and blockade in Ukraine. I pay tribute to the noble Lord, Lord Alton, both for bringing this debate to the House and for his long record of campaigning advocacy on behalf of those whose suffering is too often overlooked.
On 2nd November 2020 Lord Harries of Pentregarth asked the Government “what steps they are taking in their discussions relating to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s Base Erosion and Profit Shifting 2.0 Project to prioritise a fairer settlement for those less economically developed countries who lose income as a result of tax avoidance by multinational corporations”. The Bishop of Winchester asked a question:
The Lord Bishop of Winchester [V]: My Lords, I underline what the noble and right reverend Lord, Lord Harries, has brought into focus. The loss of corporate tax—about 3% from high-income economies compared with 9% for low-income ones—further exacerbates the impact of coronavirus on trade and tourism. For example, sub-Saharan Africa currently faces its first recession in 25 years, with up to 14 million people driven into extreme poverty. Can the Minister assure the House that Her Majesty’s Government will urgently offer the OECD technical support in the form of revenue analysis along with support for legislative and policy measures so that countries that wish to implement unilateral tax reforms will have the wherewithal and advice to do so in the best way?
On 12th May, the Rt Revd Tim Dakin, Bishop of Winchester received a written answer from Baroness Sugg on a question about the World Food Programme in Africa.
Bishop of Winchester:HL3568 To ask Her Majesty’s Government what additional financial support and assistance they are providing the World Food Programme to develop an effective response to the risk of food insecurity in Africa.
On 12th May the Rt Revd John Inge, Bishop of Worcester, received a written answer from Baroness Sugg to a question on overseas aid during COVID-19.
Lord Bishop of Worcester: HL3571 To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assistance and support they are providing to (1) the Chairperson of the African Union, (2) the World Health Organisation and (3) the African Union’s Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, in coordinating a response to, and mitigating, the economic impact of COVID-19 in Africa.
On 11th May 2020 the Bishop of Worcester, Rt Revd John Inge, received a written answer to a question on the transmission of COVID-19 to civilians among UK military personnel and staff deployed in Africa.
The Lord Bishop of Worcester:HL3572 To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they have put in place to deal with the potential transmission of COVID-19 to civilians among UK military personnel and staff deployed to UN peacekeeping missions in Africa.