International Assistance: Coronavirus

Department for International Development written question – answered on 1st June 2020.

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Photo of Baroness Northover Baroness Northover Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the Stop TB Partnership's recent report on the impact of the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic on tuberculosis services; and what support they intend to provide to the Global Fund's COVID-19 Response Mechanism to help countries respond to COVID-19 and mitigate the impacts on HIV, tuberculosis, and malaria programmes.

Photo of Baroness Sugg Baroness Sugg The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for International Development, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

The UK Government is concerned about the indirect impacts of COVID-19 on other health priorities, including increased rates of HIV, TB and malaria. The Stop TB Partnership’s rapid assessment of COVID-19 and the TB response gives helpful insights into short-term impacts. The modelling report co-commissioned by the Stop TB Partnership outlines longer-term impacts, suggesting that disruptions caused by COVID-19 could lead to an additional 6.3 million TB cases and 1.4 million TB deaths between 2020 and 2025. The findings of both reports are concerning.

The UK Government is taking action, including through support to the Global Fund’s COVID-19 Response Mechanism, which we are funding through our £1.2 billion contribution to the Fifth Replenishment of the Global Fund. Through our multilateral partnerships with organisations like the WHO, and our regional and national programmes, the UK Government also supports developing countries to make their domestic health systems, including their TB programmes, stronger and more resilient.

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