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Reproductive Health

Chris McCafferty: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development (1) what aid his Department has provided to reproductive health commodities in each year since 2000–01; [21402]

(2) what aid his Department allocated for reproductive health commodities in each year between 2000–01 and 2004–05. [21501]

Mr. Thomas: Sexual and reproductive health services, including family planning, are some of the most cost-effective and beneficial health service interventions available. However, the unmet need for condoms, and other methods of family planning, is very high. Globally, some 120 million women and men who say they would like to use family planning have no access to modern contraceptives. The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) also estimates that the global condom needs for prevention of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections is around 9 billion annually.

DFID is working to change the situation and provides significant assistance to multilateral organisations such as the UNFPA, providing £141 million for the period 2000–01 to 2005–06 in core support. An estimated £46.5 million of this amount has been used by the UNFPA for the purchase of reproductive health commodities. DFID is also one of the leading bilateral providers of reproductive health commodities through its country programmes, where reproductive health supplies are an integral part of broader programmes to promote sexual and reproductive health and to prevent HIV. In 2004–05, this included commitments of £40 million for condoms in Nigeria, £6.37 million for condoms in Vietnam and £220,000 for female condoms in South Africa.

DFID has been the fourth largest provider of condoms, supporting the distribution of about 150 million condoms annually. In many countries, financial assistance provided through sector and budget support also enables countries to purchase their own
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reproductive health commodities, which we believe is an important long term approach to ensuring availability of these commodities.

TB Control

Julie Morgan: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what the total UK Government expenditure on TB control in developing countries was between 2001 and 2004; what the proposed expenditure is for (a) 2005 and (b) 2006; how much of the total was (i) multilateral and (ii) bilateral aid; and how the bilateral aid was divided between (A)project support, (B) health sector support and (C)direct budget support. [21982]

Mr. Thomas: DFID funds TB control through some specific bilateral projects, but increasingly also funds the broader health sector plans of developing country governments by direct financing through their budgets, or through multilateral organisations such as the World Bank. Such sector programmes will build capacity in health services to diagnose and treat all major causes of illness. It is therefore difficult to attribute accurately all of DFID's expenditure on TB control. The following are estimated figures for funding to TB control through bilateral and multilateral channels.

DFID's bilateral expenditure directly targeting TB control was £13 million in 2003–04, and £15 million in 2004–05. These figures may underestimate DFID's TB bilateral expenditure since they only include the parts of projects which were specifically focused on TB control. They do not count the full costs of these projects which often provide funding to services which support TB control, but are not TB-specific. To count the full cost of these projects may be misleading as other diseases and sectoral areas are targeted within them. Expenditure estimates are not available prior to 2003 as information was not collected in a suitable format.

DFID provides grants to the Global Fund for AIDS, TB and Malaria (GFATM) 1 and the World Health Organisation (WHO). We estimate that the amount of DFID funding that went to TB control through these two organisations was £4 million in 2003–04 and £5 million in 2004–05. These figures are based on the share of spend which these organisations said they directed towards TB control (GFATM—13 per cent., the WHO—4 per cent.).

These figures do not include DFID's expenditure on TB through grants to other multilateral organisations including the World Bank and the European Commission. These organisations will target some of their work towards TB but do not currently report it explicitly in their budgets. Therefore, we are unable to provide an estimate of DFID's TB expenditure via these organisations.

DFID provides a significant part of its funding directly to government budgets in support of their overall strategies for poverty reduction ('Poverty Reduction Budget Support'). DFID provided £339 million in 2003–04 and £423 million in 2004–05 in this way. Partner governments may use some part of this directly for TB control activities. It is not currently possible to provide accurate estimates of the proportion of PRBS which is spent directly on TB control.
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DFID does not have a target for expenditure on TB control. However, we are committed to at least maintaining our level of effort in order to halt and reverse the incidence of TB. We will continue to channel support through bilateral projects, contributions to multilateral organisations and funding to partner governments through PRBS. DFID has pledged £5 million to the global Stop TB Partnership for 2005 to 2007, to co-ordinate technical support and supplies of quality drugs to TB programmes in developing countries, and £200 million to the 'Global Fund for AIDS, TB and Malaria' for the two year period 2006 to 2007.


Armenian Massacres

Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether the Government recognise the Armenian massacres of 1916–23 as genocide. [22420]

Mr. Douglas Alexander: The long-standing position of the Government is well known. The Government acknowledge the strength of feeling about this terrible episode of history and recognise the massacres of 1915–16 as a tragedy. However, neither this Government nor previous governments have judged that the evidence is sufficiently unequivocal to persuade us that these events should be categorised as genocide as defined by the 1948 UN Convention on Genocide.


Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions have been held with the Government of Bangladesh on human rights; and if he will make a statement. [22016]

Dr. Howells: I have not had any recent discussions with the Government of Bangladesh on this subject but intend to do so during my planned visit shortly.

We have serious concerns about the human rights situation in Bangladesh and take every suitable opportunity to raise this with the Government of Bangladesh. The British High Commissioner led an EU troika call, specifically about human rights, on the Foreign Minister on 26 October. The Deputy High Commissioner discussed human rights with the Inspector General of Police on 19 October. The High Commission, the EU Commission Delegation, and EU Missions have jointly organised and participated this month in a seminar with civil society on human rights.


Andrew Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when negotiations were commenced with China about the next state visit of the President of China. [22228]

Mr. Douglas Alexander [holding answer 27 October 2005]: The possibility of President Hu Jintao visiting the UK was first explored by officials of the British
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embassy in Beijing and the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs in early May 2004. During a visit to London by Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao later that month my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister formally extended an invitation for President Hu to visit the UK, Discussions over the timing of the visit began in July 2004 and the dates were formally agreed by the Chinese on 30 September 2005.


Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with (a) the UN and (b) the African Union bearing down on the activities of militia groups in Darfur. [22010]

Mr. Douglas Alexander: We hold regular discussions with the UN and African Union (AU) at all levels. My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary has discussed Sudan with the UN Secretary-General this year, most recently at the UN General Assembly in September.

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for International Development (Hilary Benn) and my noble Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Triesman of Tottenham) discussed Sudan, including the issue of how the AU mission can best achieve security in Darfur, with AU Chairperson Konare during their visit to the AU summit in July. They also held discussions with AU representatives during their respective visits to Sudan in June and October.

We regularly urge the Government of Sudan to rein in the Arab militia, and we have made clear to all parties in Darfur that they must abide by the ceasefire, control their forces, and work towards reaching a political solution.

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with the International Criminal Court concerning its pursuance of individuals in (a) Darfur and (b) Northern Uganda. [22012]

Dr. Howells: My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary had an introductory meeting with the Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) on 24 June 2004. My noble Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Triesman of Tottenham) held a working lunch with the Chief Prosecutor and ICC officials on 26 July 2005. At these meetings, and other meetings at official level, the ICC outlined in general terms, progress in its investigations into Darfur and Northern Uganda as well as the Democratic Republic of Congo. The ICC Prosecutor's decisions on selection of individuals for prosecution are made entirely independently and remain confidential until the Court decides to make arrest warrants public. The UK stands ready to consider any request for assistance made by the Court.

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