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Post-2015 Development Framework

Volume 582: debated on Wednesday 18 June 2014

The UK objective for post-2015 is to agree a simple, inspiring, measurable set of goals centred on eradicating extreme poverty that should finish the job that the millennium development goals started. The goal should be outcome focused, measuring reductions in preventable death and disease and giving women and girls sexual and reproductive health rights

Despite progress on reducing maternal mortality and promoting universal access to reproductive health, this remains the slowest of the millennium development goals. Will the Secretary of State explain why DFID supported fewer women to give birth with the support of nurse, midwife or doctor in 2012-13 than it did in 2011-12?

Overall, I think we can be proud of the fact that we are the first Government to live up to the commitment to spend 0.7% of our gross national income on international development, and that includes doing more work on health. We are, for example, increasing our spend on key health areas such as malaria, pledging up to £1 billion of support to the global health fund. I can assure the hon. Lady that tackling maternal mortality remains a core part of my Department’s work and that we are pressing for a comprehensive health goal and target as part of the post-2015 framework.

The Secretary of State will be aware that HIV/AIDS remains one of the world’s greatest public health challenges. While over 10 million people from low to middle-income countries are receiving antiretroviral treatment, about another 20 million are not. What is the right hon. Lady doing about this issue, and how will it be taken up in the millennium development goals process?

I can very clear that we want to see an HIV, TB and malaria goal as being part of the health goal; we want to see specific targets on tackling those diseases. The hon. Gentleman will be aware that the incidence of HIV has grown, largely because people are now able to survive it. We must work harder to ensure that we reduce incidence and do more on prevention.

How does the Secretary of State intend to achieve these health goals when a third of the health care delivery projects that started on her Government’s watch are falling short? Schemes in Montserrat, Uganda, Bangladesh, Mozambique, Pakistan, Zimbabwe, Sierra Leone and Somalia—schemes totalling nearly £0.5 billion—are failing. What does she intend to do to transform those projects and prove that universal coverage is not only desirable but achievable?

I am pleased that the hon. Gentleman is setting out just a small number of the many health programmes that the Department has under way. One of the key things I have done over the past year has been to strengthen our programme management and increase the focus on getting results for the Department. I can assure him that there is a heavy focus on achieving all the goals that we set ourselves. We set out the results very clearly when we came into government, because we felt that there was not a clear enough focus on impact under the last Government.