HC Deb 18 February 1988 vol 127 c691W
Mr. John Marshall

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what information he has as to(a) how many Palestinian refugees there were in 1958 and at the last available date, (b) how many Palestinian refugees have been provided with jobs and permanent housing by each of the Arab states since 1958, (c) how much financial assistance each of the Arab states gives to the Palestinian refugees and what this is as a percentage of their gross national product, (d) how many Palestinian refugee families have been provided with permanent housing by Israel since 1967 and (e) how the infant mortality rate in Gaza has altered since 1967 and what information he has about the rate in the Palestinian camps in other countries.

Mr. Mellor

(a) In 1950 just over 800,000 Palestinian refugees were registered with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA); in October 1987 the total was approximately 2,218,000. Figures for 1958 are not available.

(b) This information could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

(c) Contributions to UNRWA are set out in the report of the Commissioner-General, a copy of which has been placed in the Library of the House.

(d) UNRWA estimate that around 5,000 Palestinian families have moved from refugee camps in Gaza to Israeli Government-sponsored housing projects. Housing construction costs are met by the families concerned.

(e) UNRWA's health programmes have helped to reduce the infant mortality rate in Palestinian refugee camps over the past decade; the rate remains higher in Gaza than elsewhere.