asked Her Majesty's Government:
How street children will benefit from the updated HIV/AIDS strategy in the light of the fact that the £200 million social protection programmes will focus on households.
The UK Government's updated seven-year AIDS strategy, Achieving Universal Access—the UK's strategy for halting and reversing the spread of HIV in the developing world, continues to give priority to the needs and rights of children affected by HIV/AIDS. Social protection programmes, including cash transfers, have been shown to be highly effective in reaching children affected by AIDS and promoting their access to basic services. This approach was endorsed at the recent International AIDS Conference in Mexico.
Through support for broadly defined social protection programmes, the Government are also tackling the wider issues that make children affected by AIDS vulnerable to exploitation and abuse or at risk of ending up on the street. Predictable, regular cash transfers to households looking after children affected by AIDS are part of this response and can be a simple and cost-effective way to ensure children stay in a family environment and get the protection, nutrition, education and health care they need.
The Department for International Development (DfID) has been working closely with UN agencies and NGOs to develop guidance on social protection for vulnerable children in the context of HIV and AIDS. This guidance recognises that many children, such as street children, may live outside the family environment and therefore also require appropriate legislation and child protection services to detect neglect, exploitation and abuse and where possible support family reunification. Our increased funding for social protection, including support for underfunded social welfare ministries, will help strengthen these services.
In addition, we are supporting the International Harm Reduction Association's (IHRA) international youth network on harm reduction, to help ensure issues related to street children, young people and drug use are highlighted in international fora.
The UK Government are committed to review the social protection programmes they support, in terms of how well they respond to the needs of children affected by HIV and AIDS, on a biannual basis, to ensure that the approach is effective in reaching the most vulnerable, including those children living outside the family environment.