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Mr. Hunt: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development (1) what work his Department has undertaken to increase the capacity of countries with an antenatal prevalence rate of HIV/AIDS of one per cent. or more to take full advantage of the flexibilities in the trade related aspects of intellectual property agreement; and if he will make a statement; [35694]

(2) what work the informal advisory group on access to medicine has undertaken to increase the capacity of countries with an antenatal prevalence rate of HIV/AIDS of one per cent. or more to take full advantage of the flexibilities in the trade related aspects of intellectual property agreement; and if he will make a statement. [35693]

Mr. Thomas: DFID's work on trade related intellectual property rights (TRIPS) to ensure increased access for countries with high prevalence rates of HIV/AIDS, is one pillar of a broader UK strategy to increase access to essential medicines to developing countries that includes direct assistance to developing countries; work with the private sector; and support of research and development efforts. DFID works with the Department for Trade and Industry (DTI), the Patent Office and other Departments, as appropriate, through the Cross Whitehall Working Group on access to medicines.

Developing countries and non-governmental organisations have expressed concerns that the World Trade Organisation TRIPS agreement, which provides
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wider international patent protection, would affect negatively the capacity of developing countries to procure cheap generic medicines.

DFID and other Whitehall departments have been working closely with the EU and the World Trade Organisation (WTO) member states to ensure that developing countries are given the necessary flexibilities in the WTO TRIPS agreement to safeguard their pressing public health needs. This has now been achieved with the recent agreement in the WTO to amend TRIPS to allow countries without manufacturing capacity to issue compulsory licenses to import generic copies of patented medicines, and the decision by the European Union to implement legislation transposing this agreement into European law.

We have been funding several programmes in developing countries, specifically around, or incorporating activities, related to TRIPS flexibilities. This is one of the main aims of the UK Government's global strategy to improve access to essential medicines, as outlined in the 2004 paper: Increasing Access to Essential Medicines in the Developing World: Government Policy and Plan".

We have been providing support to the World Health Organisation's Commission on Intellectual Property Rights, Innovation and Public Health (CIPIH), with the secondment of an official to lead the secretariat of the Commission (three-year project: £240,000). The CIPIH has been appointed to produce an analysis of intellectual property rights, innovation, and public health, including analysis of TRIPS flexibilities. It will report in the first half of 2006.

We have been funding legal research and assistance on how to implement the flexibilities, with for instance the publication of the UNCTAD-International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development's resource book on TRIPS and development (part of a three-year £1.2 million project), this year.

DFID also supports country-focused work on the issue. In Ghana, we support an access to medicines initiative (ATMI) through the Ghana National drugs programme that includes work on TRIPS flexibilities. DFID commissioned a series of studies that looked at access to medicines in under-served markets, including country case studies in Kenya and Malawi. A study on China and India investigates the effects of changing intellectual property legislation on the pharmaceutical industry in these countries, and in a recent update, the consequences of the alignment with TRIPS obligations in 2005.

Mr. Iain Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what role his Department plays in the UN AIDS programme. [36199]

Mr. Thomas: DFID is a strong supporter of the UN's HIV and AIDS programme working with the Joint United Nations Programme for HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS). The UNAIDS' mandate is

UNAIDS is a co-sponsored programme comprising a Secretariat, the World Bank, the World Health Organisation (WHO), the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), the United Nations Education,
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Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), theUnited Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR),the UN Office for Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the World Food Programme (WFP).

The UK, led by DFID, is an active constituent member, with San Marino, Italy and Ireland, of the UNAIDS' Programme Co-ordinating Board (PCB). We currently occupy the board seat for our constituency, and have played a key role in important decisions taken at the PCB, including the adoption in June 2005 of the new policy paper Intensifying HIV Prevention". DFID also has institutional partnerships, which includes core funding with all co-sponsors including the UNAIDS Secretariat, (except the UNODC).

Core funding to the UNAIDS Secretariat in this financial year is £16 million, to support the unified work plan involving all co-sponsors.

Media Monitoring

Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much his Department has spent on media monitoring activities in each of the last eight financial years. [35631]

Mr. Thomas: Information on DFID's expenditure on media monitoring services is only available for the last two financial years.

The figures are as follows:
2005–06 (to November 2005)99,810

These figures are for press cuttings services for the entire department and annual subscriptions to the media monitoring unit.

South Asia Earthquake

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how his Department ensures that UK aid allocated to Kashmir after the recent earthquake is applied to the (a) people and (b) purposes intended. [36169]

Mr. Thomas: UK assistance for the Pakistan earthquake is divided between immediate humanitarian assistance and long-term reconstruction. My Department has pledged £58 million for humanitarian assistance and works with appropriate UN agencies, the Red Cross and a number of trusted non-governmental organisations to deliver much needed supplies and services quickly and efficiently to those most in need.

DFID has deployed humanitarian advisors to Pakistan to monitor our support and ensure it is used effectively. This supplements our standard accounting
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procedures that require all of DFID's partners to account for and report fully on programmes using DFID funds.

My department has pledged a further £70 million for long-term relief and reconstruction. The detail as to how this money will be spent is being worked on with the Government of Pakistan to ensure proper accountability, transparency and value for money.

Sugar Regime

Derek Conway: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what bilateral assistance the Government will provide to those Caribbean nations most affected by the impact of the EU's proposed reforms of the sugar regime. [36492]

Mr. Thomas: DFID's £10.3 million annual bilateral programme to the Caribbean finances programmes in Guyana (£4.5 million a year) and Jamaica (£2.5 million a year), two of the most affected countries in the Caribbean, and support for regional objectives and institutions (£3.3 million a year), that benefits all six affected Caribbean Sugar Protocol countries.

Funding from the regional programme is being made available to assist all these countries prepare their sugar action plans to set out how they adjust to the fall in European sugar price. These plans will enable them to benefit from the European Commission's (EC) forthcoming Transitional Assistance and attract possible investors from the private sector.

In addition, Jamaica, Guyana and Belize benefit from UK financed debt relief. Under the UK bilateral Commonwealth Debt Initiative, Belize received £1.45 million and Jamaica £6.24 million in 2005. For Guyana, the UK will pay approximately $450,000 as its share (10 per cent.) of Guyana's debt service on loans from the World Bank's International Development Association (IDA) until all of its $260 million of IDA and International Monetary Fund debts are cancelled in 2006 under the recently agreed G8 proposal.

The UK provides approximately £8 million a year to the four most affected countries (Belize, Guyana, Jamaica and St Kitts) through its contributions to multilateral agencies such as the EC.

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