HL Deb 10 November 1999 vol 606 c152WA
Lord Judd

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What is their assessment of the level of risks to vulnerable people in Serb Yugoslavia as the result of inadequate heating during the coming winter; and what action they are taking together with others to alleviate distress. [HL4527]

Baroness Amos

Our current assessment is that, although many vulnerable people in Serbia will experience hardship this winter, a major humanitarian crisis is unlikely. According to reports from the UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs, energy shortages are not expected this month. Serbia continues to receive natural gas from Russia, and 40,000 tonnes of oil has reached the country under humanitarian exemptions to the oil embargo applied by the US and the EU. Collective centres for internally displaced people and refugees are receiving energy supplies from non-governmental organisations; other agencies including European Community Humanitarian Office (ECHO) and United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) are targeting schools and hospitals. We are monitoring developments closely for their potential impact on the most vulnerable, and will consider carefully targeted funding proposals from reputable agencies based on verifiable assessments.

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