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Aids

Volume 109: debated on Saturday 2 May 1987

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asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) if he will list in the OfficialReport those projects supported by Her Majesty's Government which assist African countries to prevent the spread of AIDS;(2) whether he has received any representations from developing countries requesting help to combat the spread of AIDS;(3) whether he has received any representations from the World Health Organisation requesting help to combat the spread of AIDS;(4) what proportion of his Department's overall budget is spent helping African and other developing countries to tackle AIDS;(5) whether any consideration is being given to increasing resources available to African countries to combat AIDS.

We believe that support for programmes co-ordinated by the World Health Organisation is the most effective way of assisting developing countries to cope with AIDS. We have recently given £250,000 to the WHO's global AIDS programme for work in such countries; this represents about 0·02 per cent. of the estimated net aid programme for 1986–87. The WHO is planning expansion of its work as a matter of urgency. When we have details, we expect to provide some additional support.In response to a few direct requests for assistance from aid recipient countries, we are providing specialist advice, training and some small items of medical equipment.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment has been made by his Department on the long-term effect of AIDS on the economic position of eastern and central African countries.

Our assessment is that the spread of AIDS, if unchecked, would have a serious detrimental effect on the economic and social development of any country. ODA officials, in consultation with other concerned organisations, are considering what analytical work is needled to determine the relationship between AIDS and economic and social change in developing countries.