§ Mr. Ashley
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what plans he has to implement the recommendations of the Leeds castle declaration on the prevention of disablement; what financial provision has been made for this; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Neil Marten
We have no set allocations for the prevention of disablement, or for health or other sectoral activities, within the aid programme. Most of our bilateral aid is given on a Government-to-Government basis in accordance with priorities set by the developing countries themselves and we are therefore dependent upon recipient countries requesting assistance on activities to prevent disability or on projects for the disabled.
However, up to 10 per cent. of our overall aid programme goes on health-related activities, much of which helps the disabled or the prevention of disability through the provision of maternal and child health care, immunisation, improved nutrition and the continuing attack, including research, on disabling diseases. Examples are our contribution to the river blindness control programme in West Africa, assistance to the WHO cold chain support unit for the expanded programme on immunization, and assistance to the Indian spastic society.
We also joint fund certain projects overseas undertaken by voluntary organisations, who have traditionally provided help which contributes to the welfare of the disabled in the developing world and helps to prevent disability. Examples are the provision of funds towards Save the Children Fund's "Stop Polio" campaign in Lesotho, Swaziland and the Philippines, collaboration with the Royal Commonwealh Society for the Blind in support of the Chittagong eye hospital, and contributing towards the cost of a leprosy hostel project in India undertaken by the Leprosy Mission of England and Wales.