Mr. Gareth Thomas
We expect the very latest statistics on orphans to be published in a report by UNICEF, "Africa's Orphaned Generations", on 23 November 2003. Until then the international community, including DFID, has drawn on the joint UNAIDS, UNICEF, USAID Report, "Children on the Brink 2002", which provides statistics on current and projected numbers of children orphaned by HIV/AIDS in 88 countries.
"Children on the Brink 2002" estimates that 13.4 million children under the age of 15 had lost one or both parents to AIDS in 2001. 11 million of these children are in sub-Saharan Africa. By 2010, this number is expected to rise to 25 million, with probable large increases in Asia. In the hardest hit countries, it is estimated that 15 per cent. of all children will be orphaned by AIDS by 2005.
Mr. Gareth Thomas
HIV/AIDS has created an unprecedented orphan crisis. By 2001 13.4 million children had lost one or both parents to AIDS. The growing impacts of HIV/AIDS on children, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, have strong implications for the achievement of all development goals. Co-ordinating and harmonising the response to this crisis is a key challenge for the international community.810W
In June 2001, DFID joined the rest of the international community at the United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on HIV/AIDS in adopting the Declaration of Commitment which set common targets for reducing the spread of HIV/AIDS and alleviating its impact. The Declaration includes three strong commitments to provide special assistance to children orphaned and affected by HIV/AIDS.
DFID is now working with UNAIDS and UNICEF, who are co-ordinating other development agencies and NGOs to develop a Global Strategic Framework to translate the UNGASS Declaration into country level action and commitment. Other governments engaged in this process include the US, the Netherlands, Sweden, Australia, and Denmark. Emphasis is placed on the need to strengthen community-based care of orphans and ensure that they stay in school.
At the country level, we are in dialogue with governments and development partners to ensure that national responses to the epidemic include appropriate provision for the education, health, nutrition and housing needs of orphaned as well as their protection from abuse and exploitation. In Uganda, we have supported the Government in the implementation of free universal primary education. Prior to the introduction of the free Universal Primary Education policy, 12 per cent. fewer orphans were attending school compared to non-orphans. In 2000 this had diminished to 4 per cent. as a result of free primary education. In Malawi we are working with other donors and the Government of Malawi to ensure that the needs of orphans and vulnerable children are addressed through the Poverty Reduction Strategy processes.
§ Mrs. Spelman
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what response his Department is making to the UNICEF and UNAIDS announcement of a co-ordinated global response to AIDS orphans. 
Mr. Gareth Thomas
HIV/AIDS has created an unprecedented orphan crisis. By 2001 13.4 million children had lost one or both parents to AIDS. The growing impacts of HIV/AIDS on children, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, have strong implications for the achievement of all development goals. Coordinating and harmonising the response to this crisis is a key challenge for the international community.
In October of this year, DFID joined other major international partners to develop a global strategic framework for the protection, care and support of orphans and other children made vulnerable by HIV/AIDS (OVC). The framework will highlight key issues in an effective response to the needs of OVC. We fully endorses the draft framework's emphasis on free primary education and strengthened support to community-based care for OVC within the context of a broad multi-sectoral national HIV/AIDS strategy. We continue to emphasise the importance of embedding responses to the orphan crisis in national level mechanisms such as the Poverty Reduction Strategy processes, and the urgency of providing treatment programmes to prolong the lives of HIV+ parents.