HC Deb 19 January 2004 vol 416 cc934-5W
Mr. Tynan

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what support he is providing to tackle the spread of HIV/AIDS in(a) India and (b) China. [147529]

Hilary Benn

DFID India is supporting the Government of India's National AIDS Control Programme through the National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) with a commitment of £123 million over a period of five years. The main approach of the programme is to support innovative, targeted work with highly vulnerable sections of the community in the various slates of India. Our partners in this programme are World Bank and the US Agency for International Development. The programme includes support to UNAIDS for effective implementation of its HIV strategy in India and BBC-World Service Trust for media campaigns to raise awareness in the general public.

The communities covered under the programme include sex workers, their clients, street children, men who have sex with men, industrial workers and injecting drug users. For example, in West Bengal one of DFID's focus states, our work to date have covered more than one hundred thousand people through 17 NGOs in 52 sites.

DFID China is working in partnership with the Government to tackle and combat the spread of HIV/AIDS. DFID currently supports a £20 million HIV/AIDS initiative, which pilots replicable models of HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment and care in Yunnan and Sichuan for high risk and vulnerable groups. This project aims to inform and develop national policy and good practice on HIV/AIDS. In addition, DFID will provide £5 million to assist the Government of China in developing its strategic capacity to deliver an effective and co-ordinated response to HIV/AIDS.

Mr. Bercow

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if he will make a statement on progress in Africa towards a reduction in the proportion of 15 to 24-year-old pregnant women with HIV from 16 per cent. [148136]

Hilary Benn

UNAIDS will publish global HIV/AIDS figures this year, which will allow for a proper assessment of the progress towards this target. The Department for International Development will report on this in its next Departmental Report in 2004.

Meanwhile, the latest "AIDS Epidemic Update", published by UNAIDS in December 2003, reports that HIV prevalence in pregnant women in selected urban areas seems to show the following trajectories in recent years (UNAIDS "AIDS Epidemic Update", December 2003): Increasing: Swaziland, Namibia, Mozambique, Cameroon Stable: Zimbabwe, Malawi, Zambia, Kenya, DRC, Senegal Declining: Ethiopia, Uganda, Rwanda.

The update concludes that we are not witnessing a decline in sub-Saharan Africa's epidemic. Significant challenges remain to arrest the epidemic and meet the target to reduce the proportion of pregnant women with HIV/AIDS.

DFID has HIV/AIDS activities in most of our 16 focus countries in sub-Saharan Africa. Many of DFID's interventions support National AIDS Councils and help to integrate efforts to address HIV/AIDS into a range of other sectors. In addition to direct HIV/AIDS activities, in an increasing number of countries significant, indirect support for addressing HIV/AIDS is being provided through budget support.

DFID has also invested £1.5 billion in supporting health systems since 1997. We are working with partners to improve maternal and child health and reduce the impact of HIV and other major communicable diseases.

The recently published "UK Call for Action on HIV/AIDS" (copy enclosed), makes clear our own commitment to significantly increase our efforts to address HIV/AIDS and poverty.

We will make reducing the vulnerability of poor people to HIV and to the impact of AIDS a priority for the extra resources the UK will be devoting to Africa by 2006. All DFID Africa country offices are currently considering what needs to be done, by those countries, to enhance their HIV/AIDS programmes, and how the UK and others can best help them, including through additional financial contributions.

The Government will also make HIV/AIDS—and Africa—a centrepiece of our presidencies of the G8 and the EU in 2005.