The UK is the largest donor to GAVI. Our support will help fully immunise nearly 80 million children and save around 1.3 million lives during 2011-15. We are working closely with GAVI and partners to ensure that their 2016-20 strategy, currently being developed, provides a sound and cost-effective basis for delivering their mission and saving children’s lives.
May I draw attention to my entry in the Register of Members’ Financial Interests? To reach every child with immunisation requires not only vaccines but staff. Do the Government support the GAVI 15% to 25% spending target on health strengthening in the international community?
I proudly congratulate the Government on spending 0.7% of national income on eradicating poverty worldwide, much of it on polio eradication. The last three countries with endemic polio all have significant Islamic populations. Is the Department committed to working with religious and Islamic leaders to try to build community support for polio eradication and to protect health workers in those countries?
I declare an arrangement, as I went to Cambodia with Results UK to see the GAVI-funded programme there. I am told that the Government put in £860 million, which raises questions about the future. Will the Government make a commitment to maintaining that level of funding in future for GAVI, which runs a wonderful project?
Does the Minister agree that vaccination assistance and the partnership with the Gates Foundation is not only the right thing to do but one of the best ways to help developing economies? It is also something we should sell and explain to the general public.