§ 71. Mr. Chapman
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement about progress in the UNICEF global immunisation project and the United Kingdom contribution to it.
§ Mr. Chris Patten
UNICEF says that there is a slow but steady increase in contributions. The British Government have contributed £5.31 million bilaterally to the immunisation programme, and some £2 million through the European Community. Other British contributors, the United Kingdom National Committee for UNICEF and the TUC, have pledged a further £2 million over three years.
§ Mr. Chapman
I welcome the initiative and the contribution by Her Majesty's Government towards that United Nations special project, which I am sure has universal support, and recognise that the programme to immunise all the world's children against the six preventable diseases must take some years, but will my hon. Friend look sympathetically at the need to announce a five-year special contribution by the United Kingdom Government to ensure that the programme is given that necessary lift and to encourage other countries to follow the lead given by our Government?
§ Mr. Patten
We shall, of course, consider special appeals by UNICEF. It is important to note that our contribution to the core budget of UNICEF has increased to £7.5 million for next year, which is more than the increase in the rate of inflation. It is also important to remember what we are doing to support primary health care in aid recipient countries, which has a considerable bearing on the problem to which my hon. Friend referred.