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Press Release: Dismay at donor governments’ vote to cancel life-saving Global Fund funding

24. November 2011

    The Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance (EAA), an alliance of 80 churches and related organizations around the world, is alarmed by the decision of the Board of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria to cancel its current funding Round (“Round 11”) due to a shortage of funds. While a transitional funding mechanism is expected to provide for the continuation of services currently financed by the Global Fund, this decision postpones any possibility of new funding until 2014. The EAA is concerned that the lives of many people living with and affected by HIV will be put at risk, as well as of those affected by TB and malaria.


    This decision comes at a time when hopes are high that the AIDS epidemic could actually be ended if increased strategic investment is made now: The 2011 Global AIDS Report released this week demonstrated that treatment scale-up is beginning to deliver results, both in averting AIDS-related deaths (an estimated 2.5 million since 1995) and in halting new infections (at their lowest levels since 1997).


    “On Monday we learned that almost half (6.6 million) of the 14.2 million people eligible for antiretroviral therapy in low- and middle- income countries can now access life-saving treatment,” stated Karen Plater, Associate Secretary, Stewardship and Education for Mission of the Presbyterian Church in Canada, and chair of the EAA’s HIV and AIDS Strategy Group. “And then on Tuesday we discovered that instead of increasing our efforts to achieve universal access to treatment, we are jeopardizing our progress and losing momentum in the HIV response.”


    The Global Fund’s reduced funding capacity indicates a worrying slow-down in international commitment to the global AIDS response. In addition, while the Global Fund had received pledges and projected contributions of $11.7 billion in 2010 for the time period 2011-13, several donors have since reneged on their pledges or delayed in converting their pledges to cash. Pledges from Holland, Demark, Italy, Belgium, and the European Community are all lacking.


    “Round 11 funds would have enabled scale-up of lifesaving treatment and prevention services for HIV, TB and malaria to millions of people in developing countries,” said Peter Prove, EAA Executive Director. “People currently dying for lack of access to treatment and prevention have been betrayed - just when the science is showing that the end of AIDS is within our grasp.”


     


The Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance is a broad international network of churches and Christian organizations cooperating in advocacy on food and HIV and AIDS. The Alliance is based in Geneva, Switzerland. For more information, see http://www.e-alliance.ch/

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