HC Deb 25 April 2001 vol 367 cc299-300W
12. Mrs. Fyfe

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will make a statement on development aid to combat HIV/AIDS in Africa. [157654]

Clare Short

HIV/AIDS is the single most important development challenge in Africa. The epidemic is undermining economic growth and fundamentally threatens social and economic development. DFID continues to give greatest priority to prevention, but we also support efforts to combat the personal, social and economic impact of illness and death caused by the disease.

As national strategic plans to tackle the epidemic improve, we have begun to place our support within the framework of those plans. For example, we have recently approved significant HIV/AIDS-related programmes in Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe totalling over £60 million, and a £20 million programme is being designed to support Mozambique. A new programme for South Africa is also planned for this year. We have also committed £7.5 million to a regional initiative on HIV/AIDS with the Southern Africa Development Community. Last month, I approved a £25 million programme under the International Partnership Against AIDS in Africa to support the efforts of Ethiopia, Rwanda and Burundi and other countries to curtail the spread and reduce the impact of HIV/AIDS.

14. Mr. Tynan

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will make a statement on the measures her Department is taking to strengthen the international effort to combat AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. [157656]

Clare Short

The Chancellor and I announced, as part of the global child poverty initiative, several tax measures and purchase fund options, to help increase access to medicines in developing countries. My Department is in discussion with other countries, international organisations, the private sector and civil society, to explore further options to increase international investment to tackle the diseases of poverty in developing countries, including the establishment of a global purchase fund for commodities for HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis and diseases of childhood. In addition, we continue to encourage the EC to rapidly implement its programme of action for tackling the major communicable diseases.

We are also currently supporting a number of innovative public-private partnerships aimed at tackling the diseases of poverty. These include £14 million for the international AIDS vaccine initiative and support for the global alliance for vaccines, the medicines for malaria venture, and LAPDAP to treat drug-resistant malaria. In addition, the UK strongly supports the World Health Organisation-led roll back malaria initiative, which provides the vehicle for concerted action to deliver more widely the benefits of currently available methods of malaria control to the poorest.

Finally, we continue to work with developing countries to strengthen their basic health systems capable of delivering drugs correctly without which poor people will be unable to access the necessary drugs in their communities.

Mr. Ben Chapman

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much money her Department has committed in support of sexual reproductive health programmes and action against HIV/ AIDS since 1997; and how much it plans to spend in the next financial year. [157655]

Clare Short

I will write to my hon. Friend.

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