Developing Countries: Health Services

Department for International Development written question – answered on 3rd October 2019.

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Photo of Tom Brake Tom Brake Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Exiting the European Union), Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Duchy of Lancaster)

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what plans he has to establish a requirement for countries in receipt of Overseas Development Assistance for health to make measurable progress towards committing five per cent of GDP to health spending.

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

If we are to meet the ambition of Sustainable Development Goal 3 and ensure no-one is left behind, countries need to invest more public resources in health. The UK strongly supports the commitments in the United Nations Political Declaration on Universal Health Coverage. This calls on countries to increase public spending, with an emphasis on primary health care, noting World Health Organisation recommendations of an additional 1% of GDP or more. We provide technical assistance to countries as part of our health system strengthening programmes through our country offices and through funding to the World Health Organisation. The UK will step up our efforts to end preventable deaths of mothers, new-born babies and children in the developing world by 2030. This will include boosting our support for developing countries to make progress towards universal health coverage, focusing on ensuring sexual and reproductive health and rights and helping the most vulnerable women such as survivors of female genital mutilation, and working with our global partners to deliver Gavi’s new strategy that will vaccinate a further 300 million children in the world’s poorest countries by 2025.

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