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Ministerial Conference (Paris)

Volume 448: debated on Tuesday 4 July 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development pursuant to the answer of 22 March 2006 to the right hon. Member for Leeds, West (John Battle), Official Report, columns 429-30W, on Ministerial Conference (Paris), whether the UK has agreed to implement the airline ticket levy for international development; what progress has been made on negotiations on whether part of the levy will go towards health and sexual and reproductive health and rights information and services; and if he will make a statement. (81410)

I have been asked to reply.

The UK is committed to developing innovative financing mechanisms to support accelerated progress towards the Millennium Development Goals, and announced at the Paris Conference on Innovative Financing on 28 February and 1 March 2006 that it will hypothecate part of its existing air passenger duty to provide a long-term stream of finance to the International Finance Facility (IFF) and the pilot IFF for Immunization.

The International Finance Facility is specifically designed to provide the immediate and significant level of funding that is required to support progress towards all the millennium development goals by 2015. The IFF would support significant progress on health in general, as well as on sexual and reproductive health and rights information and services. The frontloading principles of the IFF are already being applied to the health sector through the IFF for immunisation, which will provide $4 billion for vaccinations and is expected to save a total of 10 million lives, including five million children before 2015.