Reacting to the news the UK Government will fund UNAIDS £8 million for 2022, Mike Podmore, Director of STOPAIDS, said:
“Against the backdrop of a significantly reduced international development budget, this funding commitment is a welcome step from the UK to ensure UNAIDS can continue its vital work.
On World AIDS Day, International Development Minister Andrew Mitchell highlighted the UK’s support for UNAIDS’ Global AIDS Strategy; this funding will help realise this strategy.
The work of UNAIDS cannot be understated; it plays a pivotal role, like a sports coach or orchestra conductor, in ensuring there is a concerted, unified global response to HIV and AIDS.
With a life lost to AIDS-related illness every minute and inequalities holding back the global response, UNAIDS’ is needed more than ever; providing strategic vision, thought leadership, convening actors, and building political will to end AIDS.
The UK has historically been a leader in the global HIV and AIDS response, with public investment saving millions of lives. However, this commitment remains just under half what the UK previously committed before cutting overseas aid, and this announcement comes late in the year.
It is critical that the Government increases its financial commitment to UNAIDS when it reinstates the development budget to its former size of 0.7% of Gross National Income.”
- The UK funding commitment has been announced at the 51st meeting of the UNAIDS Programme Coordinating Board being held in Chaing Mai, Thailand.
- In 2020, the UK cut the Overseas Development Assistance budget (commonly known as the international development budget) from 0.7% of Gross National Income to 0.5%.
- In 2020 key agencies such as UNAIDS, Unitaid and UNFPA faced funding cuts by the UK by over 80% respectively. The UK cut UNAIDS’ funding down from £15 million to just £2.5 million. In 2021, this was increased to £8 million, still shy of its former £15 million commitment.
- The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) leads and inspires the world to achieve its shared vision of zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths. UNAIDS unites the efforts of 11 UN organizations — UNHCR, UNICEF, WFP, UNDP, UNFPA, UNODC, UN Women, ILO, UNESCO, WHO and the World Bank—and works closely with global and national partners towards ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030 as part of the Sustainable Development Goals.
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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