HC Deb 13 March 2003 vol 401 c354W
Mrs. Spelman

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will make a statement on the(a) performance and (b) future funding of the Global Health Fund. [102814]

Clare Short

The primary role of the fund is to provide drugs and commodities for the prevention and treatment of AIDS, TB and Malaria. Wherever possible the Global Fund should be providing support behind strategies that help deliver sustainable improvements in health care. The fund has strong founding principles in this regard, but performance to date to this end has been mixed.

The UK Government have pledged $200 million over five years to the fund, $80 million of which has been disbursed. In addition we have committed over £1.5 billion since 1997 to support the development of health systems in poorer countries. Strengthening such systems is vital if drugs are to be safely and sustainably supplied to the poor. Our future support for the Global Fund will depend on its effectiveness. It is one of several possible instruments designed to improve basic health care in poor countries.