Press statement

Decline in AIDS funding risks jeopardizing recent gains made by countries

Countries, donors, and other partners must mobilize around new UNAIDS strategic investment framework—to generate new resources and optimize AIDS-related investments

GENEVA, 27 November 2011—The unprecedented results and progress achieved by the global AIDS response in 2011 must be sustained and accelerated. Latest data from the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) shows that new HIV infections and AIDS-related deaths have fallen to the lowest levels and more than 6.6 million people now have access to HIV treatment. Greater investments in tuberculosis and malaria programmes have also led to reductions in tuberculosis and malaria-related deaths among people living with HIV.

These gains are threatened by a decline in resources available for HIV prevention and treatment in low- and middle-income countries. And now could be further aggravated by the recently revised resource forecast—showing a shortfall in funding available through the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Global Fund).

The Global Fund has announced plans to replace its next call for country proposals (Round 11) with a new transitional funding mechanism. The new mechanism will focus on the continuation of essential prevention, treatment and care services currently financed by the Global Fund—making new funding available only in 2014. This announcement could jeopardize global efforts to achieve Millennium Development Goal 6—to halt and reverse the spread of AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria by 2015.

"This delay could keep countries from their efforts to save lives at a time when the AIDS response has seen game-changing results," said Michel Sidibé, Executive Director of UNAIDS. "The Global Fund's new five-year strategy as well as its consolidated transformation plan are steps in the right direction. These plans should restore confidence and position the Global Fund as an important and effective financing mechanism for AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria."

UNAIDS urges the international community to urgently explore innovative sources of funding to bridge the gap in global resources for AIDS, including a financial transaction tax to fund critical health and development programmes. It also calls on countries to revise and reprioritize AIDS investments as well as national AIDS strategies using the new UNAIDS strategic investment framework to deliver maximum results and value for money.

"We need new financial modalities and sources of funding such as the financial transaction tax to maintain the momentum of the AIDS response," said Mr Sidibé. "Using the advances in science, we can help countries to use the new investment framework to optimize results for people and save lives."

In response to the financial challenges and opportunities facing countries, UNAIDS is committed to working together with countries; regional bodies including the African Union, African Development Bank and NEPAD; donors such as PEPFAR, DFID and Government of France; civil society organizations and the Global Fund to achieve the bold new targets set by world leaders in the 2011 United Nations Political Declaration on HIV/AIDS.

UN member states have pledged to invest between US$ 22-24 billion by 2015 for the global AIDS response. Last year, US$ 15 billion was available, however international funding has fallen from US$ 8.7 billion in 2009 to US$ 7.6 billion in 2010.

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UNAIDS
Sophie Barton-Knott
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bartonknotts@unaids.org


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