This would be encouraging for us all, if it were not for the complication that it seems to have come at a moment when there is also evidence of what can reasonably be called an international Crisis of Aid among the donor countries.
Does the extra cash for service development in the Health Service mean that there will be more provision to meet the Aids Crisis, despite the Victorian - or perhaps it should be described as pre-Christian - morality of the former Minister responsible for health, the hon. Member for Argyll and Bute (Mr. MacKay)?
Mr. Chris Smith asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will make a statement on the latest progress of the Government's efforts to co-ordinate their response to the Aids Crisis and the precise measures taken to this end.
Mr. Chris Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will indicate, for the current financial year and for the past two financial years, the funds devoted by the Government specifically to respond to the Aids Crisis, broken down into funds spent on (a) public education, (b) health care and treatment, (c) provision of drugs, (d) research and (e) other actions.
We must address that problem because Scotland is facing an Aids Crisis.
We must recognise that the Aids Crisis will affect everyone.
Meanwhile, its health service cannot cope with the Aids Crisis that is sweeping across that part of Africa.
I do not think that the hon. Gentleman would want us to cut aid to tackle the Crisis of Aids in Zimbabwe, where one in four citizens are infected.
Before the hon. Gentleman leaves the causes of conflict, was he as puzzled as I was that the cross-departmental report on the causes of conflict in Africa, which has just been published, makes no mention of the Aids Crisis?
I confess that the hon. Lady has the advantage over me, as I have not read the report, but it is self-evident that the Aids Crisis plays a part.
The noble Baroness, Lady Whitaker, and my noble friend Lord Sandwich both covered the Aids Crisis in Africa.
The Aids Crisis could have even more wide-ranging consequences for the world community, not least because of the insecurity that could threaten the entire world.
of that amount goes into expenditure to tackle AIDS, and that includes the ear-marked $15 billion that the Americans are spending independently on the Aids Crisis.
There will be no hope of tackling the Aids Crisis if we do not tackle proliferation and if weapons of mass destruction are used, the institutional order of our world will be in ruins.
Over £25 million has been committed to support the International Partnership Against AIDS in Africa (IPAA) initiative—a regional, Africa-led initiative aimed at building Governments' national responses to the Aids Crisis, with a focus on Ethiopia.
However, given the Aids Crisis in southern Africa, it is more than regrettable - it is disastrous.
The hon. Member for Meriden and I heard about the African Comprehensive HIV/AIDs Partnerships, or ACHAP, scheme in Botswana - I sent the Minister details about it and I do hope that he received them - where big business in the shape of Merck, Sharp and Dohme, a charity and a non-governmental organisation in the shape of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, if one can call Bill Gates such a thing, and the Botswana Government are getting together to deal with the Aids Crisis in Botswana.
Over £25 million has been committed to support the International Partnership Against AIDS in Africa (IPAA) initiative—a regional, Africa-led initiative aimed at building Governments' national responses to the Aids Crisis, with a focus on Ethiopia, Rwanda, Burundi, and Ghana.
They must come with AIDs public health information packs and AIDs treatment and testing packs, and must carry out at least one project with the community and the country to deal with the Aids Crisis.
There is also a risk that the appropriate focus placed on the Aids Crisis in the developing countries will perhaps lead us to overlook, or possibly neglect or minimise, the crisis that is still here in the UK.
We met Peter Heller, the deputy director of its fiscal affairs department, yesterday to discuss the concern that was expressed to us by Dr. Peter Piot from UNAIDS, that Uganda was unable to make use of all the money that was offered to it by donor organisations to address the Aids Crisis, because it would have taken the spending in its Department of Health above the expenditure ceiling set by the IMF.
Orphans and vulnerable children are often referred to as the forgotten children of the Aids Crisis, but it cannot be said that children are forgotten in this report.
The truth is that we need a continued concerted effort on the part of the whole international community while recognising, however, that the people who face the biggest burden are the Governments and health ministries of the developing countries that are most severely afflicted by the Aids Crisis.
The honest truth is that we can all turn up in succession, knock on the door and say, "We have come from the United Kingdom, you have a Terrible Aids Crisis and we want to help.
No one in the Chamber is in any doubt about the magnitude of the HIV/Aids Crisis and how vital tackling it is to our future and that of others.
A non-profitable drugs solution to the Aids Crisis in Africa is urgently needed - a solution that has nothing to do with self-interest and everything to do with improving the lives of Africa's AIDs victims.
Malawi was a desperately poor country and Justin Malewezi, the then vice-president, who had responsibility for dealing with the Aids Crisis, was debating with his advisers at that point how they might use anti-retrovirals to keep some of their population alive.
Despite the Crisis of Aids in Africa and Russia's falling life expectancy, the impact of global ageing is a challenge on a par with other global issues such as climate change, tackling the AIDs pandemic, sustainable development and so on.
The 2004 UNAIDs report provides fresh evidence - if we needed it - of the scale of the Aids Crisis that Africa is facing.
Those are two examples of the way in which we are trying to improve developing countries' capacity to respond to the Aids Crisis.
There are real concerns about the growing AIDs epidemic in those countries, and there is clearly a complete absence of political will at the top echelons of their Governments to tackle the Aids Crisis.
Our Government, and others, are very active in fighting HIV/AIDS, but I suspect that very few of us can say that we know of no other countries where there is a lack of political leadership in dealing with the Aids Crisis, where politicians deny that there is a problem or where Parliaments do not devote the time that they should to debating HIV/AIDS.
That is very important given the depth of the Aids Crisis.
Will he report on cross-Whitehall co-operation and explain what review of programmes his Department is undertaking in the light of the Aids Crisis?
I hear almost universal concern about its distortion of the delivery of a response to the Aids Crisis in many vulnerable countries and, in particular, about its bias towards treatment over prevention and about a definition of prevention that works with the A and the B, but restricts as much as possible the delivery of the C, the condom, which most people think is the most effective element.
However, does the noble Baroness agree that perhaps insufficient emphasis has been placed on the Aids Crisis, which threatens the development of sub-Saharan Africa as much as climate change?
Indeed, the concentration on infectious diseases tended to emphasise, if anything, the flu pandemic, which obviously does not at the moment threaten the same number of people as does the Aids Crisis.
All the speakers today have made clear that there are no illusions about the severity of the Aids Crisis that affects so many children across the world.
As the world has belatedly come round to the urgency of the HIV/Aids Crisis, there has been some progress on the ground.
Had the world responded to the emerging Aids Crisis on the scale required 20 years or so ago, the scale of today's problem and the cost of the necessary action to address it would be far smaller.