A charity organisation has called on the Government to introduce legislation banning UK aid from any organisations that donate aid to refugee children.
The Institute of Charity and the Abolition of All Government Assistance to the Poor (ICEAP) has written to the Home Secretary and the Chief Secretary to the Treasury to argue that aid should not be provided to organisations that are providing children with humanitarian aid and support.
ICEAP said it has seen no evidence that the aid has helped Syrian children, and said it was “disappointed” by the government’s position.
The charity says aid is “unlikely to save the lives of those who are fleeing Syria and that the majority of those children are likely to end up in the hands of the state.”
The charity said it does not have any evidence that aid has improved the lives or prospects of Syrian children.
It said the government should also introduce legislation to ban UK aid that provides a child with food, shelter, education or health care.
The charity said there were more than 400 Syrian refugee camps around the UK and the number of children in those camps was estimated at around 4,000.
“In addition, aid is not likely to help save the children’s lives,” the letter said.
However, David Cameron has said that he will consider the issue of aid in the autumn and will decide in spring if he will allow aid to be given.
The Home Secretary said it would be “right” for the Government not to support the aid.
“It is right that our aid should be used to provide food, clothing, medicine and other essential needs, and not to aid a child’s escape from a terrible and devastating conflict,” she said.
The Government has not yet announced the date for the debate, but a statement from the Department for Communities and Local Government said it had “received an urgent request from the Institute for Charity and The Abolition the issue will be taken up”.
The Department for International Development said it will continue to work with the government “to support the delivery of humanitarian assistance to children”.
Last year, a report found that British aid to the Syrian refugee crisis had “fallen sharply in recent years”, with the number falling by 40 per cent in the year to October.
The report also highlighted the UK’s reliance on the World Food Programme and the UN’s World Food Program, which are “very dependent” on donations from the UK.