International Development Committee Announcement

NEW INQUIRY:   HIV/AIDS: DFID’s New Strategy

DFID’s new AIDS Strategy - Achieving Universal Access: the UK’s strategy for halting and reversing the spread of HIV in the developing world - was published on 2 June 2008. Its focus is on providing greater access to HIV prevention programmes and to treatment, care and support for those living with and affected by HIV and AIDS.

As part of the Strategy DFID has announced £6 billion to 2015 in funding for strengthening health systems in developing countries as a long-term strategy for dealing with HIV/AIDS. This funding will be directed in particular towards improving sexual and reproductive health provision and maternal, newborn and child health services and in addressing diseases known to interact with HIV/AIDS, particularly tuberculosis and malaria.

DFID has highlighted that HIV/AIDS particularly affects certain groups. Among these are sex workers, men who have sex with men and injecting drug users - the “marginalised groups” which the Committee discussed in its 2006 report.  But HIV/AIDS also disproportionately affects women, what DFID describes as the “feminisation” of the epidemic, especially in sub-Saharan Africa. Children are also seriously affected with an estimated 15 million orphaned as a result of AIDS as well as large numbers living with the disease. The Strategy commits DFID to spending £200 million over three years on social protection programmes to provide better access to nutrition, health and education for orphans and vulnerable children.

It has been the practice of the International Development Committee in this Parliament to examine HIV/AIDS issues each year. This year’s inquiry will examine DFID’s new Strategy and in particular will assess the following:

  • the extent to which DFID’s Strategy will be effective in tackling the disproportionate impact of HIV/AIDS on women and children
  • how HIV/AIDS interacts with other diseases, especially tuberculosis and malaria, and how effectively this interaction is dealt with by donors and funds
  • how the new AIDS Strategy will be incorporated into DFID’s Country Programmes
  • how civil society will be involved in implementing the new Strategy
  • the likely effectiveness of monitoring systems in ensuring that funding announced in the Strategy reaches local level
  • the impact of vertical funds on broader health system strengthening
  • the comparative effectiveness in tackling HIV/AIDS of vertical funds and funding allocated to broader health system strengthening
  • DFID’s mechanisms for measuring the impact of its funding for health service strengthening

The inquiry will also provide an opportunity to assess the extent to which the new AIDS Strategy addresses issues raised in the Committee’s previous reports on Marginalised Groups and on Maternal Health.

Submission of written evidence

The Committee invites individuals and organisations with relevant expertise and experience to submit written evidence on any of these issues.

The deadline for submitting written evidence is Wednesday 1 October 2008.

Evidence submitted should:

Submissions can also be sent by post to International Development Committee, House of Commons, 7 Millbank, London, SW1P 3JA.

A guide for written submissions to Select Committees may be found on the parliamentary website at: http://www.parliament.uk/commons/selcom/witguide.htm

Please also note that:

  • Material already published elsewhere should not form the basis of a submission, but may be referred to within written evidence, in which case a hard copy of the published work should be included. If a number of published documents are sent to accompany written evidence, these should be listed in the covering email.
  • Memoranda submitted must be kept confidential until published by the Committee, unless publication by the person or organization submitting it is specifically authorised.
  • Once submitted, evidence is the property of the Committee. The Committee normally, though not always, chooses to make public the written evidence it receives, by publishing it on the internet (where it will be searchable), by printing it or by making it available through the Parliamentary Record Office. If there is any information you believe to be sensitive you should highlight it and explain what harm you believe would result from its disclosure. The Committee will take this into account in deciding whether to publish or further disclose the evidence.
  • It would be helpful, for Data Protection purposes, if individuals wishing to submit written evidence send their contact details separately in a covering letter. You should be aware that there may be circumstances in which the House of Commons will be required to communicate information to third parties on request, in order to comply with its obligations under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.
  • Select Committees are unable to investigate individual cases.

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FURTHER INFORMATION:

Committee Membership is as follows: Malcolm Bruce MP (Chairman, Lib Dem), John Battle MP (Lab), Hugh Bayley MP (Lab), John Bercow MP (Con), Richard Burden MP (Lab), Mr Stephen Crabb MP (Con), Daniel Kawczynski MP (Con), Ann McKechin MP (Lab), Jim Sheridan MP (Lab), Mr Marsha Singh MP (Lab), Sir Robert Smith MP (Lib Dem).

Committee Contact: Carol Oxborough, 020 7219 1226, or [email protected]

Media Enquiries: Alex Paterson, 020 7219 1589, or [email protected]

Committee website: www.parliament.uk/indcom

Watch committees and parliamentary debates online: www.parliamentlive.tv

Publications/Reports/Reference Material: Copies of all select committee reports are available from the Parliamentary Bookshop (12 Bridge Street, Westminster, 020 7219 3890) or the Stationery Office (0845 7023474)