Tropical Diseases: Finance

Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office written question – answered on 18th May 2021.

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Photo of Pauline Latham Pauline Latham Conservative, Mid Derbyshire

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the effect of reducing funding for neglected tropical disease programmes on the worldwide prevalence of (a) malaria, (b) elephantiasis and (c) blinding trachoma.

Photo of Pauline Latham Pauline Latham Conservative, Mid Derbyshire

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the effect of reducing funding for neglected tropical disease programmes on progress towards the elimination of (a) malaria, (b) elephantiasis and (c) blinding trachoma.

Photo of Pauline Latham Pauline Latham Conservative, Mid Derbyshire

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps he is taking to ensure that neglected tropical diseases programmes affected by a reduction in Official Development Assistance funding are able to continue operating.

Photo of Wendy Morton Wendy Morton Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

The seismic impact of the pandemic on the UK economy has forced us to take tough but necessary decisions, including temporarily reducing the overall amount we spend on aid, and exiting from some programmes, including the Accelerating the Sustainable Control and Elimination of Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) programme. We will still spend more than £10 billion this year to fight poverty, tackle climate change, and improve global health, which remains a top priority for UK ODA. We will focus on the UK's position at the forefront of the international response to COVID-19 through our commitments to COVAX, Gavi, and WHO, and through bilateral spend where the need is greatest in Africa. Where we have taken the decision to exit programmes, this will be done in a measured way, working closely with our delivery partners.

The UK has made a significant contribution to global efforts towards protecting hundreds of millions of people from NTDs. Malaria is not classified as an NTD by the World Health Organisation. We remain committed to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria.

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