U.S. Funding Swells HIV Donor Kitty By $1.1 Billion

By Angela Oketch

After two years of flat funding, donor government disbursements towards fighting HIV in low- and middle-income countries increased by 16 per cent from $7 billion in 2016 to $8.1 billion in 2017, says a new UN report.

However, this increase is not expected to last as it was largely due to a shift in timing of American support.

A woman walks past Aids information on the wall of the Redemption hospital in New Kru Town near Monrovia, Liberia. Photograph: Ahmed Jallanzo/EPA
Photograph: Ahmed Jallanzo/EPA

The US, the world’s largest donor nation, increased its disbursement from $4.9 billion in 2016 to $5.9 billion in 2017, including funds appropriated but not spent from previous years.

Other governments leading in contributions to the global HIV effort are the United Kingdom ($743.9 million), France ($267.7 million), the Netherlands ($202.6 million) and Germany ($161.9 million).

While eight of 14 donor governments reduced their spending on global HIV efforts in 2017, increases by the US and five others more than offset these declines.

Bilateral aid went up, due to the US increase. Multilateral contributions to the Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Global Fund) also increased.

Donor government funding supports HIV care and treatment, prevention and other services in low- and middle-income countries. The report notes that without new commitments by other donors, future funding for HIV is likely to return to lower levels.

Funding had remained flat in recent years, at about $19.1 billion, roughly $7 billion short of the estimated amount needed to achieve the UNAids 90-90-90 targets.

This is happening as a growing number of people are receiving antiretroviral drugs, and will require sustained access for decades.

In June 2017, approximately 20.9 million people worldwide were receiving the drugs, increasing from 680,000 people in 2000.

“Cuts to development assistance for HIV could do serious harm in hard-hit countries, which continue to rely greatly on this aid,” according to research presented at the 22nd International Aids Conference (Aids2018) in Amsterdam, this past week.

Source: allafrica.com

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