HC Deb 18 December 2001 vol 377 c186W
Dr. Tonge

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what action her Department is taking to support non-Burman ethnic groups in Burma. [22447]

Clare Short

British and European Community (EC) assistance in Burma is provided for a wide variety of humanitarian needs including the needs of refugees. DFID also provides funding for HIV/AIDS interventions. We are currently increasing our funding through selected INGOs and UN agencies to assist the most needy in Burma.

The total UK humanitarian assistance provided to Burma in 2000–01 was £0.8 million. We have committed up to £2 million for humanitarian purposes for 2001–02. This includes funding for the needs of refugees/returnees and the war-affected, including ethnic minorities in the Thailand border areas. Last year we spent £0.2 million on HIV/AIDS; our commitment for this financial year is £1.6 million.

Assistance provided to Burma through ECHO for the calendar year 2000 was euro 2 million or approximately £1.3 million (the same amount has been allocated for 2001). Assistance is delivered through European NGOs and focuses on health including HIV/AIDS, water and sanitation. Some assistance is provided to Burmese refugees in Thailand and for the protection of detainees in prison. The UK EC attribution for 2001 is 19 per cent.

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