Robert Flello – 2016 Parliamentary Question to the Department for International Development

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Robert Flello on 2016-03-02.

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what (a) financial and (b) other assistance her Department has contributed to international support for children with microcephaly and their families.

Mr Nick Hurd

The Department for International Development (DFID) has worked with the Department for Heath (who are leading the UK government’s response), Public Health England and the Foreign Commonwealth Office to help develop the UK strategy on Zika and support the World Health Organisation (WHO) galvanise an effective international response. There are four strands of this strategy which are: (a) galvanising effective leadership and international coordination; (b) ensuring a risk-based approach to identify priority regions/countries and likely impact of further spread; (c) shaping and contributing to country and regional responses and (d) playing a lead role in the international research response.

DFID has programmes in a number of countries which will support the Zika response. To date, countries in currently affected regions of Latin America and the Caribbean have not made specific requests for financial and/or other assistance from us to support children with microcephaly. We will continue to carefully assess any requests, offer additional assistance where needed and adapt any existing programmes to the needs required. We have already committed £200,000 of bilateral aid in support of Haiti’s Ministry of Health community mobilisation activities. DFID and Wellcome Trust will contribute £10 million (DFID up to £5million) for Zika research. We will continue to monitor the situation closely, working with other government departments and WHO.