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Developing Countries (Health)

Volume 447: debated on Tuesday 13 June 2006

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the effect of International Monetary Fund and World Bank targets for achieving longer-term economic growth of public health spending by developing countries; and whether he proposes to make representations on this issue at the International Monetary and Finance Committee meeting in Singapore. (76348)

In 2005 the international community committed to double aid flows to Africa by 2010.

To achieve the Millennium Development Goals in health the international community must accelerate support to develop universal and equitable health systems.

Ensuring that the increased aid can be used effectively will require partnership between developing countries, donors and the international financial institutions.

The Bank and the Fund have a critical role to play in this international effort, in supporting countries’ own poverty reduction and development strategies. The World Bank is now the largest provider of development finance in the health sector. We will continue to urge the Bank to do more to help countries scale up their investment in their health programmes.

The IMF plays a crucial role in supporting financially and through policy advice the macroeconomic stability necessary for lasting poverty reduction. We welcome the commitment—expressed in the Managing Directors' medium-term strategy—for the IMF to assist developing countries in the management of increased aid inflows, and will continue to urge the Fund to support countries in increasing their investment in priority sectors including public health, within their frameworks for macroeconomic stability and sustainable growth.