Barry Sheerman – 2016 Parliamentary Question to the Department for International Development

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Barry Sheerman on 2016-01-26.

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what support her Department offers to countries affected by the Zika virus.

Mr Nick Hurd

The UK has been at the forefront of global efforts to ensure the World Health Organisation (WHO) has the funding, expertise and systems to respond to emerging disease threats like Zika, and is the second largest national funder of WHO. The Department for International Development made a discretionary contribution of £14.5 million to WHO in 2015, alongside the Department of Health meeting the UK’s £15 million commitment to WHO core funding. The UK has also provided political and technical support to strengthening the organisation and its preparedness. As part of the UK effort to strengthen global health security DFID contributed an additional £6.2 million to WHO’s contingency fund for emergencies which can be used for the management of Zika.

Affected countries are working closely with the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) which serves as the Regional Office of the World Health Organisation. PAHO and governments across the region are issuing information on the emerging Zika infection and are advocating for increased vector control activities. DFID will keep under review its support to countries affected by Zika viral infections and along with other Government Departments we have welcomed the WHO emergency committee statement issued on Monday 1st February. DFID is monitoring the risk posed by Zika through our early warning work, through DFID’s advisers in the region, and by keeping abreast of the evidence.