Reuters (12.07.11) - Thursday, December 08, 2011
A decline in donor contributions to global HIV funding due to
financial and debt crises risks setting back the campaign for
years, the head of UNAIDS warned Wednesday. However, this
should spur innovation in the funding mechanisms and
leadership among aid recipients, Michel Sidibe said during the
16th International Conference on AIDS and STIs in Africa in
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
"It is not the time to stop, to reverse all this achievement,"
said Sidibe, noting falling incidence rates and expanding
treatment access. "The financial crisis is there ... but when
we have a financial crisis we need to be innovative."
Annual HIV/AIDS program spending fell from $15.9 billion in
2009 to $15 billion in 2010. UNAIDS estimates an effective
global response by 2015 would require $22 billion-$24 billion
"If we have a global financial transaction tax, say of 0.5
percent, we will have $226 billion." Sidibe said. "Ten percent
of that resource is enough for financing the fight against
HIV/AIDS, stopping the epidemic, because we can reduce by 96
percent the number of new infections by putting people early
on treatment. We can have taxation of cigarettes and alcohol.
We can find different ways to mobilize new resources."
"Sustainability and particularly reducing dependency, making
sure that African leaders are taking responsibility to
initiate a new discussion around treatment and [the] AIDS
financing crisis in Africa, those for me will be the most
important messages to come out from Addis Ababa," Sidibe said.
Ahead of the conference, in a statement aimed at his domestic
audience, former President George W. Bush said, "It's
essential our country not retreat from the world; it's
essential that we continue to show our compassion by funding
programs that work."