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Volume 404: debated on Thursday 8 May 2003

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Mr. Dalyell: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what contributions she has made to the control of malaria in Africa since the Abuja meeting on tropical disease in 2000. [110623]

DFID is committed to the internationally agreed Millennium Development Goal to halt and begin to reverse the incidence of malaria by 2015, as well as to supporting the principles and targets set out at the African Summit on Roll Back Malaria held in Abuja in April 2000.At the 1998 G8 summit in Birmingham the UK Government pledged 60 million in support of malaria activities, and financial commitments since then have far exceeded this figure. Nearly 48 million has already been disbursed to the Roll Back Malaria (RBM) initiative, and my Department has since reaffirmed our commitment to combating malaria by pledging $200 million over five years to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria (GFATM). DFID also supports malaria control activities at country-level through our bi-lateral country programmes, as well as globally through a number of means such as support to the Medical Research Council (MRC) and to the Malaria Consortium Resource Centre, developing knowledge to improve evidence—based interventions. Further investments have been made in the Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV) and other initiatives to help find new low-cost malaria treatments, and to ensure these are made accessible to the poor.If drugs and commodities for malaria and other diseases are to be accessible to the poor, then it is also vital that health systems are strengthened to deliver these services safely and sustainably. Accordingly DFID focuses much of its health work on building and strengthening health systems and has committed over 1.5 billion since 1997 to this end.