HC Deb 09 November 1987 vol 122 c18
74. Mr. Cox

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is the present level of aid given by Her Majesty's Government to Sri Lanka.

Mr. Chris Patten

In the calendar year 1986 aid to Sri Lanka totalled £13.4million, including expenditure£7.8 of million from the aid and trade provision. An additional £2 million was disbursed by the Commonwealth Development Corporation in that year.

Mr. Cox

I note the Minister's answer, but, in view of the tragic events in Sri Lanka, will fresh aid be given? Is it the Government's policy to work with the Sri Lankan Government to rehabilitate and ensure that confidence returns to that country? Will he, or a representative of his Department, attend the special aid meeting in Paris at the beginning of next month?

Mr. Patten

We have announced a contribution of £1.5 million for immediate relief work in Sri Lanka. Much of it will be disbursed through non-governmental organisations, such as Oxfam. We will be attending the meeting in early December, held under the auspices of the World Bank, when we shall consider what more we can do to help with long-term reconstruction in Sri Lanka. I am sure that we will be in a position to make a substantial contribution.