HC Deb 05 December 1983 vol 50 cc15-6
70. Mr. Moynihan

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what additional assistance Her Majesty's Government are making available to Afghan refugees in Pakistan.

Mr. Raison

In October we announced further contributions of £1 million food aid and £2 million cash for relief agencies working with the refugees. This brings the total value of our commitments for Afghan refugees since January 1980 to over £19.8 million, including £7.4 million as our share of European Community contributions.

Mr. Moynihan

Does my right hon. Friend agree that, bearing in mind the continuation and seriousness of the problem—there are now more than 3 million refugees in the north-west frontier of Pakistan and another 100,000 are moving into the Punjab—the Government of Pakistan should be given the fullest credit and support for the work that they are doing in that serious and difficult area?

Mr. Raison

I agree that the Government of Pakistan have worked hard in that respect. The essential thing now is the withdrawal of Soviet troops from Afghanistan.

Mr. Russell Johnston

How does the assistance that the British Government give compare with that given by other countries?

Mr. Raison

I do not have the figures for other countries, but I believe that our record is very good. I shall be happy to write to the hon. Gentleman to substantiate that.

Sir John Biggs-Davison

Following the question asked by the hon. Member for Inverness, Nairn and Lochaber (Mr. Johnston), will my right hon. Friend ensure that all the Governments that have condemned the Soviet annexation of Afghanistan make appropriate contributions to the relief of its victims and will he inform the House accordingly?

Mr. Raison

I am not sure that I have the power to ensure that other Governments make a contribution. However, I shall try to satisfy my hon. Friend's request for information.

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