Thursday, 4 December 2014

International Aid makes a difference and I support it

In January of this year I travelled to the Nizip 2 Camp on the River Euphrates, on the Syrian Turkish border; it should be a place of peace, calm and holiness. Instead, at the Nizip Syrian Refugee Camp, which lies on its banks, the consequences of the Syrian civil war are all around. On a visit there I saw thousands of men, women, and particularly children, existing in giant compounds, waiting for the conflict to end so that they could go home.

The refugees in the Nizip camps, helped as they are by the UK government, multiple charities and a supportive host country, are lucky compared to the problems of those caught up in the conflict within Syria – literally caught in a crossfire – and with the UN virtually unable to provide them with aid outside of the Damascus area. The refugees I met in Nizip all want to go home eventually. They do not want to leave their homeland. Our job is to make the camps habitable, whilst doing everything possible to end the conflict.
While there I made sure I met representatives of Unicef, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Syrian opposition leaders and military commanders, as well as dozens of refugees who are being helped with winter clothing and a social action project. I also wanted to be sure that our taxpayers money - over £600m is properly spent and allocated. This is the UK’s largest ever response to any humanitarian crisis, and we are making a difference. I have also been briefed on the efforts of the UK by way of international aid to end the Ebola crisis. We continue to take several thousand Syrians by way of  Syrian asylum seekers and refugees and this process continues.
So this Friday I will be able to stay in London for the debate on the International Aid Bill which I support wholeheartedly. There is no guarantee it will pass, as Fridays Private Members Bill days are very tricky from a parliamentary and procedural point of view. but I will be there.

More details on my trip and my views here: