HC Deb 14 March 2001 vol 364 cc659-60W
20. Mr. Evans

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what initiatives she has to fight AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa. [152228]

Clare Short

HIV/AIDS is the single most important development challenge in sub-Saharan Africa. The epidemic is undermining economic growth and fundamentally threatens social and economic development in many countries in the region. DFID continues to give greatest priority to prevention, but we also place great emphasis on reducing 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.

In addition, the Government are exploring the potential of a number of options for increasing the long term affordability and availability of treatment for HIV/AIDS and related infections which will benefit sub-Saharan Africa, while maintaining a focus on the development of long term sustainable health systems which are needed to deliver them.