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Preventable Child Deaths

International Development – in the House of Commons on 29th January 2020.

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Photo of Wera Hobhouse Wera Hobhouse Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Environment and Climate Change), Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Energy)

What steps his Department is taking to implement the findings of the UNICEF UK report on ending preventable child deaths.

Photo of Alok Sharma Alok Sharma The Secretary of State for International Development

I welcome the report and its recognition that my Department is a force for good that saves children’s lives and makes a real difference. The report is in line with the Government’s ambition to end preventable maternal, new-born and child deaths by 2030.

Photo of Wera Hobhouse Wera Hobhouse Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Environment and Climate Change), Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Energy)

Without global leadership, we will not meet sustainable development target 3.2 and end preventable child deaths by 2030. Does the Secretary of State agree that we should place child health on a level footing with the Government’s commitment to girls’ education?

Photo of Alok Sharma Alok Sharma The Secretary of State for International Development

The hon. Lady cares deeply about this issue, which I completely understand. We made a manifesto commitment to tackle preventable deaths by 2030. I hope in the coming weeks to set out a detailed strategy on how we will do that.

Photo of Tim Loughton Tim Loughton Conservative, East Worthing and Shoreham

The UK Government have an outstanding record on contributing to the 50% fall in the number of children in developing countries who die before their fifth birthday but, even with that progress, UNICEF calculates that 52 million children will still die before the age of five by 2030. What more can we do to provide additional leadership to make sure we get rid of diseases like pneumonia, as well as the lack of access to basic vaccines, which will help to end this blight?

Photo of Alok Sharma Alok Sharma The Secretary of State for International Development

We support organisations such as the Global Fund and, as my hon. Friend knows, the UK will host the replenishment of GAVI later this year. He is right to highlight this important issue.