Help our local partners realise their vision of hope for their communities
Baroness Cox (crossbench) posed questions to the UK Government about armed conflict and overseas aid in Syria. Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon (Conservative), Lord Bates (Conservative) and Earl Howe (Conservative) responded.
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Earl Howe on 24 April (HL6880), which armed opposition groups they are supporting in Syria.
Answer 1 (Earl Howe):
The overwhelming effort in the fight against Daesh in Syria has been undertaken by the Syrian Democratic Forces.
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon on 29 December 2017 (HL4196), whether they continue to provide financial support to armed opposition groups in Syria.
Answer 2 (Lord Ahmad):
The UK continues to provide a range of support to Syrians to help save lives, bolster civil society, counter extremism, promote human rights and accountability, and lay the foundations for a more peaceful future. As part of this, we continue to provide some support to projects involving armed moderate opposition groups in Syria. This is in the form of non-lethal assistance and lifesaving support, helping them to protect civilians from the threats of criminality and extremism.
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon on 29 December 2017 (HL4196), whether they were also providing support to the local administration of Douma before the eviction of extremist groups from that town
Answer 3 (Lord Ahmad):
To protect the safety of individuals and communities who have received UK assistance during the Syrian conflict, we do not identify particular locations of our support.
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the answer by the Secretary of State for International Development on 30 April (HC Deb, col 62), how they propose to provide support to the local administrations in the extremist controlled Idlib area.
Answer 4 (Lord Bates):
Through the Conflict, Stability and Security Fund (CSSF) we are helping to meet the needs of Syrian communities in Idlib. The CSSF supports the local administration and citizens’ participation in areas controlled by the moderate opposition through a portfolio of education, livelihoods and governance programmes.
The UK has extensive controls in place to ensure that UK aid reaches those who need it and that it does not benefit extremists groups, including vetting processes to ensure such groups are not part of the Councils with which we work and a variety of sources to monitor ongoing developments in communities. We stop funding to any project or sub-project where we have any concern that it could benefit proscribed groups.
See more of Baroness Cox’s advocacy in Parliament for Syria here