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Aids (Africa)

Volume 406: debated on Tuesday 10 June 2003

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To ask the Minister of State, Department for International Development what part the UK is playing in tackling the AIDS epidemic in Africa. [117947]

The UK is playing a significant part in tackling the AIDS epidemic in Africa, and—according to UNAIDS—is currently the second largest bilateral donor for HIV/AIDS in the world. We are supporting countries in strengthening their responses to HIV/AIDS, making sure that HIV/AIDS is not treated as just a health issue, but is addressed by all sectors within Government, such as education, transport, and agriculture, and includes partnerships with the private sector and non-governmental organisations. DFID recognises HIV/AIDS to be one of the most important development challenges facing Africa. As our overall programme in the region increases from £640 million to £1 billion by 2006, HIV/AIDS will remain one of our highest priorities.In recognition of the significance of HIV/AIDS and the priority given to combating the disease, DFID announced on 30 May its decision to increase its contribution to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria with an additional US$ 40 million per year for 2006–2008, bringing DFID's total commitment to the Fund to US$ 280 million.DFID is also working to increase access to medicines, including anti-retrovirals, and to strengthen health systems necessary to deliver vital drugs and health care for those living with HIV/AIDS. We also support research into the development of AIDS vaccines, and microbicides for HIV prevention.