Conflict-induced Food Insecurity

Baroness Blackstone Excerpts
Tuesday 21st May 2024

(1 month, 3 weeks ago)

Lords Chamber
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Lord Cameron of Chipping Norton Portrait Lord Cameron of Chipping Norton (Con)
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The noble Lord makes an extremely good point. Something like 9 million people have been displaced in the Sudan conflict, the scale of which puts other refugee crises into perspective. Eighteen million people are acutely food insecure, 5 million of whom we believe to be in an emergency situation. We need the Jeddah political process to get going; the SAF and the RSF are both at fault in their attacks on each other and the destruction they are bringing to that country. He is completely right to say that all our efforts to stabilise these situations, to provide aid and to help are good and right in themselves —they are moral acts by a country that believes in playing a moral role—but also help our own security by preventing large-scale movements of people. It is very important that we frame this in both contexts.

Baroness Blackstone Portrait Baroness Blackstone (Lab)
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My Lords, does the Foreign Secretary agree that the other countries that initially blocked funding for UNRWA have now restored it, with the exception of the United States? Why will the UK not restore funding as well, given the urgency to get UNRWA working again and delivering the aid so desperately needed by starving members of the Gazan population?

Lord Cameron of Chipping Norton Portrait Lord Cameron of Chipping Norton (Con)
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Our past pledges to UNRWA already take us up to something like the end of May, so it is not short of money on our account and has had additional funding from other countries. I want us to be meticulous on behalf of our taxpayers and all those—including myself—who are concerned about the fact that UNRWA staff took part on 7 October. We have seen the Colonna report, but we have not seen the UN Office of Internal Oversight Services report. I want to see that, and I want Philippe Lazzarini, who runs UNRWA, to make very clear statements about how that organisation will be run in future so that we can have confidence that our funding will not just deliver aid but help to deliver an organisation that is truly impartial.