Developing Countries: Poliomyelitis

Department for International Development written question – answered on 21st May 2019.

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Photo of Jim Cunningham Jim Cunningham Labour, Coventry South

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps his Department taking to tackle polio in (a) Afghanistan and (b) Nigeria.

Photo of Andrew Murrison Andrew Murrison Minister of State (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) (Joint with the Department for International Development)

The UK is the third largest donor to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative and has committed £1.3 billion in total since 1995. In Afghanistan GPEI are working to reach mobile populations where children have been chronically missed by vaccination campaigns. In Nigeria activities are focussed on trying to reach all children with vaccinations to close immunity gaps that allow polio to remain.

The UK are observers on the Polio Oversight Board and represent all state donors on the Strategy Committee, which gives us a position from which to influence the activities of the fund at a strategic level. We regularly review progress in the endemic countries, including Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria and DFID country offices in each of these countries also have valuable insight by engaging with the programme in country.

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