Press statement

UNAIDS welcomes South Africa’s new US$ 1.1 billion investment on AIDS for 2010

South Africa makes the biggest domestic investment on AIDS by a developing country

PRETORIA, South Africa, 19 February 2010 – UNAIDS welcomes the increased investments by South Africa to the AIDS response. In his 2010 budget speech, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan has proposed an allocation of US$ 1.1 billion, a 33% increase from 2009 levels. This is the biggest domestic investment made by any developing country on AIDS to date.
 
“South Africa can directly change the trajectory of the AIDS epidemic with such bold investments,” said Mr Michel Sidibé, UNAIDS Executive Director. “This budget is pro-people and must serve as a model for increasing investments in health, education and social welfare even in times of economic crisis.”

South Africa has the largest number of people living with HIV worldwide. This budget proposal aims to more than double the number of people on HIV treatment to 2.1 million. Separately, the budget also provides increased social support to women and children. 

“South Africa’s AIDS response has come of age under the leadership of President Zuma. UNAIDS pledges its full support to South Africa in reversing the course of the AIDS epidemic,” said Mr Sidibé.

The overall allocations for the Health and Education sectors have been increased. The budget provides for nearly US$ 14 billion on health issues and US$ 21 billion on education. This will put South Africa on course to meet its universal access targets and Millennium Development Goals.

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