HC Deb 19 April 1999 vol 329 cc421-2W
Mr. Sayeed

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps she has taken to ensure that privately donated aid destined for refugees from Kosovo is not being delayed by unnecessary bureaucracy; and if she will investigate the reasons for a lorry loaded by NMT Crane Hire of Bedfordshire with aid not being allowed to leave Bishops Stortford for Albania during the past week. [81106]

Clare Short

My Department is taking an international lead in urgently working for organisation of the humanitarian relief effort for refugees from Kosovo. The problem to date has not been lack of resources but inadequate organisation. We have no knowledge of the problems to which the hon. Gentleman's questions refers.

We greatly welcome the spontaneous generosity of the British people but we are fully stretched attempting to improve the effectiveness of the international system.

We have discussed this issue with the Disasters Emergency Committee which is the alliance of charities co-ordinating private contributions for Kosovo. We are informed that even as organisational arrangements improve, the priority for private donations will be to receive financial contributions rather than material ones.

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