News / Africa

NGO Warns of Effects of AIDS Funding Shortfall

Road sign in Zambia urging AIDS awareness.
Road sign in Zambia urging AIDS awareness.
Joe DeCapua

The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria is celebrating its 10th Anniversary. The fund says it has saved more than 7 and a half million lives by supporting prevention and treatment programs. However, in November, it announced it had cancelled its next funding round and that no new grants would be approved until 2014. An NGO is warning of the consequences if donors don’t step forward.

The global fund began collecting donations from governments and private foundations in January 2002. Since then, it has approved over $22 billion dollars for hundreds of programs in more than 150 countries.

About 50 countries have contributed. The United States has been the biggest donor, providing 33-percent of the funds pledged each year. In 2010, it pledged more than one billion dollars.

However, when the fund’s board met in Accra, Ghana, in November, officials decided to cancel the next funding round, round 11. Along with the global economic crisis came a sharp drop in donations. Officials now say most of the more than $8 billion in donations expected to arrive by the end of 2013 will be needed to renew existing grants. That leaves no money for round 11.

Don’t stop

The International HIV/AIDS Alliance has released a new report on the global fund called Don’t Stop Now. Alvaro Bermejo is executive director of the NGO.

“We are at a point where science and the tools that we have allow us to think of a world with no AIDS and to plan it within a generation. But at that particular time, donors are faltering on their commitment. The global fund might go without enough funding and this vision will not materialize. So we’re calling on the donors not to stop now when we’re at such a crucial point in the battle against HIV,” he said.

Bermejo praised the fund’s efforts over the last 10 years.

“The global fund has been key to the response to HIV, as well as for TB and malaria. The great progress that’s been achieved in these three diseases just wouldn’t have been possible without it,” he said.

The economic crisis has forced many AIDS-related organizations to rethink funding priorities and to become much more efficient.

Bermejo said, “I think it’s true that we have to be as efficient as one can be and there are certainly opportunities to be more efficient still. And I think everybody is trying their best. But not funding the global fund now is a major inefficiency because you don’t only lose the momentum you have, you actually slide backwards and many of the gains that we’ve made will be wasted.”

Filling the gap

The International HIV/AIDS Alliance estimates the shortfall to be about $2 billion.

“The gap that we have now is mainly produced because donors that pledged to give money to the global fund when it had its replenishment conference in New York in 2010 – those pledges that were made have not been fully met. So donors haven’t lived up to the promises they made,” said Bermejo.

The alliance report examines the potential effects of the funding shortfall in 5 countries.

“In Zambia, for example, an estimated 130,000 people that need lifesaving access to antiretroviral therapy today will not be able to access it. In South Sudan, the newest country in the world, which has a very good HIV/AIDS prevention strategy that has been costed, 80 percent remains unfunded,” he said.

Similar conditions are reported in Zimbabwe, Bolivia and Bangladesh.

The alliance makes three recommendations. First, it calls on donors to honor existing pledges to the global fund. Next, it says national governments must increase their own investment in HIV programs. And finally, it recommends bilateral donors fill critical service gaps not covered by existing programs. Bilateral donors are U.N. member states that provide aid directly to other countries.

The head of the International HIV/AIDS Alliance said he’s still hopeful a new round of funding will be held this year, possibly even before the 19th International AIDS Conference is held in Washington, DC in July. The conference is the world’s largest AIDS related gathering.

You May Like

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Religion Aside, Christmas Gains Popularity in Communist Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace holiday due to its non-religious glamor, commercial appeal More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid