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Volume 405: debated on Monday 19 May 2003

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To ask the Minister of State for International Development what additional financial contributions have been made by G8 countries to the Polio Eradication Initiative since the G8 Kananaskis summit; and whether the initiative faces a funding gap. [113615]

The Polio Eradication Initiative has a financial resource gap of US$275 million (as of year end). The UK has committed $25 million to closing this funding gap. Canada has pledged US$32 million. Other G8 members including the European Commission have shown interest in providing additional funds, though exact figures have yet to be determined.We have on a number of occasions pressed G8 countries to fulfil the commitments made in Kananaskis, to raise sufficient resources to eradicate polio in Africa by 2005 and will continue to do so.We believe eradication is achievable, but will require resources and commitment from a broad partnership base. Discussions have been held with a variety of other stakeholders as well as the G8.