New York, US (PANA) - The Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), on Tuesday said that funding disbursements from donor governments for the AIDS response in low- and
middle-income countries dropped overall in 2010, mainly due to a reduction by the largest donor, the US.
According to an annual funding analysis, carried out by UNAIDS and the Kaiser Family
Foundation, donor governments disbursed US$ 6.9 billion in 2010 for HIV prevention, treatment, care and support.
"This is US$ 740 million or 10 per cent less than in 2009,'' the statement said, noting that the decrease was also due to a combination of three main factors.
It said: "They are actual reductions in development assistance, currency exchange
fluctuations and a slowdown in the pace of US disbursements, which was not a budget cut.
"The overall drop was primarily attributed to a reduction in US disbursements, which
accounted for 54 per cent of total donor disbursements in 2010.
"While the US Congress appropriated similar levels of funding for the AIDS response in 2010 as in 2009, some US$ 5.5 billion in each year disbursements declined from US$ 4.4 billion in 2009 to US$ 3.7 billion in 2010,'' it noted
The statement also revealed that "Of the 15 governments surveyed, seven -- Australia, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden and the US -- reported a year-over-year decrease in their disbursements as measured in their own currencies.
"To reach universal access goals towards HIV prevention, treatment, care and support,
UNAIDS estimates that an investment of at least US$ 22 billion will be needed by 2015.
Raising this level of funding could avert more than 12 million new HIV infections and more than seven million deaths,'' it said.
UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibe stated that, "AIDS is a smart investment even in this difficult economic environment. We have to look beyond the near-term costs and recognize the long-term benefits.
"Donors need to make and follow through on commitments today to reduce costs in the future,'' Sidibe said.
PANA recalled that at the UN high-level meeting on AIDS, which was held in June, UN member states made commitments for new targets for the AIDS response, including scaling up investments for AIDS to between US$ 22 billion and US$ 24 billion by 2015.
-0- PANA AA/BOS 16Aug2011