Immunisation Schemes

Oral Answers to Questions — Overseas Development – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 16th March 1987.

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Photo of John Butterfill John Butterfill , Bournemouth West 12:00 am, 16th March 1987

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what support is being provided from the aid programme to immunisation schemes in developing countries.

Photo of Mr Chris Patten Mr Chris Patten , Bath

We support immunisation programmes through our contributions to the United Nations Children's Fund and the World Health Organisation's cold chain support unit and as part of our bilaterally funded primary health care projects.

Photo of John Butterfill John Butterfill , Bournemouth West

Does my hon. Friend agree that in this modern age it is unacceptable that so many children throughout the world should suffer and die because of a lack of immunisation? Does he agree that Britain's contribution compares favourably with those of other countries? Will he give a comparison? What is my hon. Friend's opinion on how well UNICEF is carrying out its functions in that regard?

Photo of Mr Chris Patten Mr Chris Patten , Bath

UNICEF is doing an extremely good job. That is why I was pleased that we were able in January to announce a £5 million grant for its immunisation programme. This financial year we shall contribute more than £13 million to UNICEF, which is the largest amount that we have ever contributed. We are making £164,000 available to the WHO's cold chain support unit. In addition, we hope to spend more than £10 million on bilateral health activities, many of which include immunisation.