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?
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On 12th May, the Rt Revd Tim Dakin, Bishop of Winchester, received a written answer from Baroness Sugg on a question about the impact of COVID-19 on food security in Africa.
The Lord Bishop of Winchester: HL3567 To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on food security in Africa.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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On 6th May 2020 Lord Oates asked the Government “what support they are providing to African countries in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic.” The Archbishop of Canterbury, Most Revd Justin Welby, asked a follow-up question:
The Archbishop of Canterbury: My Lords, I declare an interest as a member of the Secretary-General of the UN’s High-level Advisory Board on Mediation. What specific steps are the Government taking to support the very successful call for a global ceasefire as it applies to sub-Saharan Africa, particularly among those countries that already have some kind of ceasefire in place, to support the mediation and peace process? I am of course referring to the Secretary-General’s call. Continue reading “Archbishop of Canterbury asks about support for UN call for global ceasefire”
On 4th, 5th and 6th February 202o the Bishop of Leeds, Rt Revd Nick Baines, received written answers, to questions on freedom of religion and belief.
On 4th February 2020 the Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, asked a question he had tabled to Government on food security and scarcity in areas affected by locusts in East Africa:
East Africa: Locusts
The Lord Bishop of St Albans: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of (1) food security, and (2) food scarcity, in areas affected by locusts in East Africa.
The Minister of State, Department for International Development (Baroness Sugg) (Con): My Lords, we are deeply concerned about the devastating locust outbreak in east Africa. It is destroying crops, livelihoods and essential food supplies. Millions of people already face food insecurity and acute malnutrition caused by humanitarian disasters in the region, and more are displaced by conflict. An outbreak exacerbates these challenges. Anticipatory action is needed to reduce the risks to the upcoming agricultural seasons; UK aid is supporting the UN in controlling the outbreak. We are monitoring the situation closely and stand ready to help further.
The Lord Bishop of St Albans: I thank the noble Baroness for her reply. It is perhaps appropriate that a Member on these Benches is raising issues about plagues of locusts, but a humanitarian crisis is unravelling in front of us. In some parts of Ethiopia, 90% of the crops have already gone and 20 million people face no food. Last Thursday, the UN said that we need $76 million now to begin to address the problems. What are Her Majesty’s Government doing to ensure immediate food aid if it is required and, in the longer term, that there is seed for next year’s crops so that people have security?
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On 3rd September 2019 the Leader of the Lords, Baroness Evans of Bowes Park, repeated a Government Statement about the G7 summit in Biarritz. The Bishop of Durham asked a follow-up question about girls’ education in Burundi:
Lord Bishop of Durham: I return to the question of girls’ education in the Statement. As it happens, last week I was visiting the tiny east African country of Burundi, and one of the most impressive pieces of work that I saw there was with adult women who had not had education when they were girls and who have now gone through literacy and financial and business training and were running small businesses in their local rural communities. I welcome the fact that more money is being put into the education of girls and of children in countries torn by conflict, because Burundi is one such. Will the Minister explain a little more about how that might be put into practice, particularly in a nation such as Burundi—and there are others—where at the moment there are restrictions on the Foreign Office giving it money because of its internal conflict, and will she promise that DfID will be able to put money into such countries through this kind of system?
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On 13th May 2019 the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Dame Caroline Spelman MP, answered two written questions from Jim Shannon MP, on aid to Sri Lanka and on persecution of Christians in African countries:
Continue reading “Church Commissioner written answers: Sri Lanka aid, Christian persecution in Africa”