Conflict and Climate Change in Fragile States: Support for Children

Debate between Lord McConnell of Glenscorrodale and Lord Harlech
Tuesday 28th November 2023

(7 months ago)

Lords Chamber
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Lord McConnell of Glenscorrodale Portrait Lord McConnell of Glenscorrodale (Lab)
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My Lords, I beg leave to ask the Question standing in my name on the Order Paper and, in doing so, draw attention to my entry in the Lords register.

Lord Harlech Portrait Lord Harlech (Con)
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My Lords, I declare my interests as set out in the register. His Majesty’s Government are committed to protecting children affected by conflict and climate change in fragile states. We prioritise the countries and communities most vulnerable to climate change in our policy and programmes on adaption. As a leading donor to Education Cannot Wait, this Government have helped 130,000 children affected by drought in Ethiopia and Somalia access an education. We address the wider impact of conflict on children through the UN Security Council.

Lord McConnell of Glenscorrodale Portrait Lord McConnell of Glenscorrodale (Lab)
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I thank the noble Lord, on behalf of the Government, for his Answer. I was pleased to see, in the White Paper published last week, a greater commitment in words to action on conflict, conflict prevention and attempts to help those who suffer in conflict-affected and fragile states. But I did not see any new financial commitments, and I think there is a genuine worry that the new integrated security fund and the new fund for humanitarian resilience could divert funds away from existing commitments on conflict, rather than increase that funding. Can the Government guarantee that programmes such as Education Cannot Wait, which are vital for children affected by conflict, and other programmes for conflict prevention and peacebuilding, will not see their funding reduced as a result of the creation of these two new funds?

Lord Harlech Portrait Lord Harlech (Con)
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My Lords, throughout 2023 and 2024 the FCDO will explore how to integrate climate-related drivers into conflict and instability risk assessments at global and country levels. This evidence base will be used to achieve an informed approach towards climate action. That is why the FCDO will fund almost £1 billion in projects to tackle these complex and interrelated security challenges.