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Sub-Saharan Africa

Volume 405: debated on Thursday 22 May 2003

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To ask the Minister of State for International Development what proportion of the Department's funding in sub-Saharan Africa is allocated to (a) primary health care and (b) reproductive health care. [114896]

Provisional figures for 2002–03 show that of £747 million DFID bilateral spend in Africa, approximately £113 million was directly in support of the health sector, some 15 per cent. of the total. This figure will represent an underestimate as some development assistance instruments, for example direct budget support to national Governments, support a range of national programmes, including health, without us necessarily being able to identify the specific level of support to each of the sectors.Similarly, in an increasing number of African countries, DFID is providing general health sector budget support to the overall national health plan. In many situations, we believe this to be a better approach than financing specific ring-fenced initiatives within the health sector. For this reason, it is no longer possible, or indeed appropriate, to specify the proportion of DFID funding in Africa allocated to primary health care and reproductive health services. We would, however, expect both primary health care and reproductive health services to be priority components of the national health plans to which we provide sector budget support. However, we do continue to support specific primary health care and reproductive health services investments in a number of African countries where budget support is not appropriate.