Baroness Rawlings asked Her Majesty’s Government by how much United Kingdom overseas aid will be increased in 2014-15 as a result of the growth in gross domestic product and the 0.7% target for overseas aid.
The Bishop of Worcester asked a supplementary question:
The Lord Bishop of Worcester: My Lords, the Minister has already referred to Pakistan. I was going to draw her attention to the Bangladeshi floods of 1998, which resulted in the loss of 30 million homes and cost the economy of that country 4.8% of its GDP. Does the Minister agree that the spending of money generally on countries which are affected terribly by climate change is both in our national interest and a moral responsibility?
Baroness Northover: The right reverend Prelate sums it up extremely effectively.
The Lord Bishop of Worcester asked Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to include a robust gender mainstreaming goal in the post-2015 Millennium Development Goals.
Baroness Northover: The UK has been clear in its advocacy for a standalone post-2015 goal on gender equality and girls’ and women’s empowerment as well as ensuring that these issues are mainstreamed in the goals and targets in the framework to be agreed by the United Nations.
We are working with others across the international community, including civil society, to ensure that this is achieved.
Baroness Falkner of Margravine asked Her Majesty’s Government what assistance they have given to the people of Gaza over the last three months.
The Bishop of Wakefield asked a supplementary question:
The Lord Bishop of Wakefield: My Lords, following Egypt’s closure of the tunnels, which has already been referred to, will the Minister give an assurance that the Department for International Development will adjust its aid package accordingly, to try to address some of the terrible suffering to which we have already heard reference?
Baroness Northover: The United Kingdom and the EU are putting in a massive amount of assistance, which is much needed in Gaza for the reasons the right reverend Prelate has given. Gaza has suffered a lot from the closure of the tunnels. However, the tunnels themselves help to fund Hamas and this is an opportunity to encourage Israel to open the borders there and to support the moderate elements in Gaza. Certainly, at the moment, the international organisations are saying that the underlying causes of the problems need to be addressed. The immediate shortages are being dealt with adequately.