HC Deb 04 December 2002 vol 395 cc857-8W
John Barrett

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment she has made of the funding shortfall within UNHCR; and if she will make a statement. [84638]

Clare Short

I discussed funding of UNHCR when the High Commissioner for Refugees visited London in July. Subsequent meetings have taken place between officials in Geneva and London, where funding of the agency was one of the items under discussion. We

Fixed penalty and court proceedings data for speed offences detected by cameras1,2 in Lancashire police force area 1996, 1997 and 2000
Fixed penalties Court proceedings
Year Number of tickets3 Estimated revenue4(£ 000) Number of fines Total amount of fine(£ 000) Average fine (£)
1996 4,028 161.1 302 19.9 66
1997 5,620 224.8 477 37.1 78
2000 24,5005 1,062.05 926 79.8 86
1 Automatic cameras until 1998, all camera types from 1999.
2 Offences under the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 and Motor Vehicles (Speed Limits on Motorways) Regulations 1973.
3 Paid ie no further action.
4 'Estimate' based on £40 fixed penalty charge for 1996, 1997 and January to October 2000. From November 2000 the penalty was raised to £60.
5 Provisional.

provided advice to UNHCR on the availability of funds from our regional programmes in response to local need.

We are aware of the immense needs which UNHCR is mandated to address and the financial constraints within which it operates.

Our core unearmarked contribution for 2002 is £ 14 million. In addition, we respond as appropriate to direct appeals from UNHCR for assistance with specific short-term refugee emergency situations and reintegration programmes. In 2002 this assistance amounts to £3.925 million to date. The UK share of EC Development Assistance, including humanitarian, in 2001 was 18.9 per cent, making the UK one of the EC's largest donors. In 2001 therefore, the UK provided £7.9 million for UNHCR through the EC's overall contribution of £41.8 million.

I have also recently approved an extra £1 million to fund UNHCR's community services activities in Africa. This will help underpin UNHCR's key protection activities: prevention of sexual and gender based violence, HIV awareness, self-reliance, youth education and capacity building of refugee social support networks.

The UK has a strong record of support to UNHCR, both in response to emergency appeals and through longer-term institutional strengthening, focusing on helping the agency improve its management, working partnerships and programming. These partnership principles underpin DFID's Institutional Strategy Paper (ISP) for UNHCR, agreed with the agency in December 2001, and which forms the basis of our funding arrangement.