On 12th July 2017 the Secretary of State for International Development, Rt Hon Priri Patel MP, made a statement to the House of Commons about the humanitarian situation in Mosul, Iraq. The Second Church Estates Commissioner, Rt Hon Dame Caroline Spelman MP, asked a follow up question:
Dame Caroline Spelman (Meriden) (Con): Mosul was home to one of the oldest Christian communities in the region, but religious minorities suffered dreadfully at the hands of ISIS. What can DFID do to ensure that such minorities are able to return to their place of origin? Continue reading
On the 3rd July 2017, the Bishop of Truro, the Rt Revd Tim Thornton contributed to Baroness D’Souza’s debate: That this House takes note of the case for measuring the impact of the United Kingdom’s development aid budget. In a wide-ranging speech, the Bishop spoke of the importance of guarding against thinking about aid spending simply as a financial investment.
The Lord Bishop of Truro: My Lords, I am grateful to the noble Baroness, Lady D’Souza, for initiating this debate on such a very important and topical issue.
As no doubt we will hear from other speakers, the UK is known around the world as a leader in international development. It has achieved great results during the past two decades. I have no doubt of the importance of the case for measuring the impact of our development aid. I want to underline that case and also, perhaps more importantly for me, to ensure that we try to measure the right things if we can and do not understand aid only as a financial investment which can be measured simply in financial terms. I fear that too many people in our debate will go immediately from talking about aid to talking about money and finances rather than going back and thinking about what the word “development” might mean. It seems that development is in itself a fascinating idea in our world today with perhaps an assumption that other countries are less developed than we are. We must be careful about the assumptions and presuppositions we make when we use the word.
On 26th April 2017 Lord McConnell of Glenscorrodale asked Her Majesty’s Government “what action they plan to take to deliver the United Nations Global Goals for Sustainable Development by 2030.” The Bishop of Southwark, Rt Revd Christopher Chessun, asked a follow up question:
The Lord Bishop of Southwark: My Lords, like the noble Lord, Lord Alton, I welcome the Prime Minister’s pledge to maintain the commitment of 0.7% of GDP for overseas aid. But I would be glad to know the Minister’s views on the usefulness of targeting aid in support of the goals not solely through large organisations but through more local partners such as those highlighted in the West Bank and Gaza by the right reverend Prelate the Bishop of Leeds on 21 March.
On the 3rd April 2017, Baroness Hayman tabled a debate in the House of Lords, asking the Government “what is their assessment of progress made in combating neglected tropical diseases since the London Declaration made in January 2012.” The Bishop of Peterborough, the Rt Revd Donald Allister, highlighted the lack of progress towards the eradication of leprosy. Lord Bates responded on behalf of the Department for International Development.
On the 3rd April 2017, Baroness Hayman led a short debate in the House of Lords, to ask the Government “what is their assessment of progress made in combating neglected tropical diseases since the London Declaration made in January 2012.” The Bishop of St Albans, the Rt Revd Alan Smith, spoke about the role that the Anglican Communion could play in providing a bridge between NGOs and local communities.
Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, I, too, thank the noble Baroness, Lady Hayman, for introducing the debate. It is good to pause and reflect on the extraordinary progress that has been made, as well as the salutary thought of just how much more needs to be done. I am not a medic and do not want to engage in the medical aspect of this, but I want to make one, very brief point: the need to adopt clear protocols and joined-up approaches if we are going to be really effective in combating neglected tropical diseases. Continue reading
On 9th and 10th March 2017 the Bishop of Coventry, Rt Revd Christopher Cocksworth, received written answers to questions of Government about funding for humanitarian work by faith-based organisations in Iraq:
The Lord Bishop of Coventry: To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Bates on 20 February (HL5245), what steps they are taking to encourage faith-based organisations in Iraq to access UK funding through the UN-managed Iraq Humanitarian Pooled Fund. Continue reading
On 9th March 2017 the House of Lords debated the Government’s Criminal Finances Bill at its Second Reading. The Bishop of Oxford, Rt Revd Steven Croft, spoke in the debate, supporting the Bill and calling for action on tax transparency in UK overseas territories and Crown dependencies.
The Lord Bishop of Oxford: My Lords, I join other noble Lords in thanking the Government for introducing this Bill. I support it. The Government have led on tackling corruption since the then Prime Minister set the issue of tax transparency at the heart of his G8 summit in 2013. He should also be thanked for hosting the anti-corruption summit in May last year. The Bill follows this good record and takes some further welcome steps to try to tackle corruption. The unexplained wealth orders will provide stronger powers for UK law enforcement to seize and repatriate the proceeds of grand corruption. The new corporate offences of failure to prevent the facilitation of tax evasion should be particularly praised because they will apply all over the world. I hope that in due course these offences will apply to all economic crime. Continue reading