Today at the UNAIDS Programme Committee Board Meeting, the UK Government announced that they will be funding UNAIDS £8 million a year. This is an increase from the £2.5 million they received in 2021.
UNAIDS plays a critical function in the HIV response. It unites the efforts of 11 UN organisations, WHO and the World Bank. It works closely with global and national partners toward ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030.
UNAIDS is a very low-cost but high-impact programme that is key to driving progress in areas including tackling pandemics, girls’ education and health security. It has a catalytic impact on the HIV response by successfully working with countries to reform laws and helping them to secure and spend resources effectively. UNAIDS’ importance is only heightened as it works to implement the Global AIDS Strategy 2021-2026 and the 2021 Political Declaration on HIV & AIDS.
Last year the UK cut funding to key agencies like UNAIDS, Unitaid and UNFPA by over 80% respectively; cut global health R&D spending in half; and effectively wiped out what remained of the UK’s bilateral funding going directly to HIV civil society and community-led organisations. The UK cut UNAIDS’ funding down from £15 million to just £2.5 million.
STOPAIDS, Frontline AIDS and the APPG on HIV’s 2021 joint report ‘Jeopardising progress’ warned that the UK cutting UNAIDS’ funding, it risks critical gains in the HIV response and hampers progress in reaching the targets of the Global AIDS Strategy. A central recommendation from the report was for the UK Government to make supplementary allocations to affected organisations and restore multi-year ambitious funding.
Now with higher levels of funding restored, UNAIDS will be better equipped to continue its critical work in the HIV response and we can repair some of the damage from last year’s cuts. UNAIDS work is important in delivering against several of the priorities of the UK Government’s recently published international development strategy and now with further funding, this work can be advanced.
Mike Podmore, STOPAIDS Director, said:
“UNAIDS plays a critical role in the global HIV response and supports the delivery of several of the priorities within the UK’s international development strategy. With AIDS still being the leading cause of death amongst women of reproductive age, if we want to realise the UK Government’s goal to end preventable deaths and ‘to provide women and girls with the freedom they need to succeed’, we need UNAIDS to be fully resourced.
I am pleased that the UK Government has responded to this and restored higher levels of funding. However, this funding is just over half of what was provided before the 2021 ODA cuts. To realise UNAIDS’ full potential, I hope the UK Government will increase its financial commitment particularly when it returns to the 0.7 spending commitment.”
Rt Hon David Mundell MP – Co-Chair – All-Party Parliamentary Group HIV and AIDS Said:
Earlier this year I had the opportunity to visit UNAIDS office and speak with Winnie Byanyima and her team and learn of the great work they do in ending HIV by 2030.
The All-Party Parliamentary Group HIV and AIDS welcome this funding announcement of £8 million a year made by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office towards UNAIDS.
UNAIDS has a critical role in delivering a range of FCDO priorities. It will enable to deliver the Global AIDS Strategy and the UK’s international development strategy.
With this announcement the UK is and can remain a global leader in the global fight against HIV.
STOPAIDS is a UK-based HIV, health and rights network. We draw on our 35-year experience working on the HIV response to support UK and global movements to challenge systemic barriers and inequalities so that we can end AIDS and support people around the world to realise their right to good health and wellbeing.
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