Bishop of Coventry asks about human rights, development aid and sanctions towards the military in Burma

Between 18th-21st September 2017 the Bishop of Coventry, Rt Revd Christopher Cocksworth, received answers to four questions about Burma, on human rights violations, UK humanitarian aid and sanctions against the Burmese military:

The Lord Bishop of Coventry:

(i) To ask Her Majesty’s Government what humanitarian assistance they are providing to help alleviate the emerging humanitarian crisis in Rakhine State in Burma.

(ii) To ask Her Majesty’s Government what consideration they have given to the suspension of military assistance, including training, for the Burmese army.

(iii) To ask Her Majesty’s Government what consideration they have given to the introduction of financial and travel sanctions against senior Burmese military officials following the Burmese military’s recent offensive in Rakhine State.

(iv) To ask Her Majesty’s Government what representations they have made to the government of Burma to engage with existing United Nations Human Rights Council mechanisms and address reports of severe human rights violations in Rakhine State.

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Bishop of Leeds asks Government about impact of sanctions, human rights and church demolitions in Sudan

On 18th and 20th September 2017 the Bishop of Leeds, Rt Revd Nick Baines, received written answers to five questions about Sudan, on the humanitarian impact of sanctions, the demolition of churches and the human rights situation:

 

The Lord Bishop of Leeds:

(i) To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the humanitarian impact of sanctions on the people of Sudan.

(ii) To ask Her Majesty’s Government what representations they have made to the government of the United States regarding the suspension or refinement of sanctions on Sudan.

(iii) To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the efficacy of sanctions on Sudan.

(iv)  To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the human rights situation and current levels of humanitarian access in Sudan.

(v) To ask Her Majesty’s Government what representations they have made to the government of Sudan regarding the demolition of churches built on land that has since been designated for buildings other than places of worship.

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Bishop of Durham asks about humanitarian and food aid to Burundi

On 27th July 2017 the Bishop of Durham, Rt Revd Paul Butler, received a written answer to a question of Government about humanitarian and food aid to Burundi:

The Lord Bishop of Durham: To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the answer by Lord Bates on 19 July (HL Deb, cols 1616–17), whether humanitarian assistance to (1) the 700,000 in need of food aid, and (2) the three million in need of humanitarian aid, in Burundi will continue to be made available through organisations such as Tearfund, Christian Aid and Oxfam. Continue reading “Bishop of Durham asks about humanitarian and food aid to Burundi”

Bishop of Salisbury asks Government about refugee and food crisis in South Sudan

On 19th July 2017 the Earl of Sandwich asked Her Majesty’s Government “what further action they are taking to address the ongoing refugee crisis and acute food emergency in East Africa.” The Bishop of Salisbury, Rt Revd Nick Holtham, asked a follow-up question:

The Lord Bishop of Salisbury: My Lords, I thank the Minister for his responses. In the case of South Sudan, where conflict is the main cause of the crisis but it is also being further exacerbated by low rainfall, what is the UK doing in relation to internally displaced people? Perhaps I may also ask him to comment on the very different example of Burundi. Is this also an opportunity for him to say a bit more about how UK overseas aid is not a charity but is in our enlightened self-interest? Continue reading “Bishop of Salisbury asks Government about refugee and food crisis in South Sudan”

Caroline Spelman raises plight of displaced Christians and religious minorities in Mosul, Iraq

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 “Caroline Spelman raises plight of displaced Christians and religious minorities in Mosul, Iraq”

Bishop of Truro warns against seeing aid as only a financial investment

Bishop of TruroOn 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.

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Bishop of Southwark asks Government about local partnerships in delivering aid goals

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.

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