Champions for an AIDS-Free Generation call for increased domestic funding for AIDS

Feb 5, 2019 | News

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At a recent high-level political dialogue convened by the Champions for an AIDS-Free Generation, UNAIDS and SANAC, participants gathered to engage and interrogate the current AIDS financing environment and discuss options for building sustainable domestic investments for not only the AIDS response, but also the sexual and reproductive and sexual and gender-based violence responses in the African region.

“AIDS remains our priority because keeping our people alive is our priority,” said Festus Mogae, Chairperson of the AIDS-Free
Generation and Former President of Botswana. “Either we pay now or we pay forever,” he added.

The fragile gains that have been made in the AIDS response have led to complacency and shifts in financing priorities are
threatening to reverse these gains.

“We cannot treat ourselves out of this epidemic . We must increase our spending on HIV prevention. Quality, localized
services, using local people are key factors in delivering relevant, effective solutions for the AIDS response,” noted
Steve Letsike, SANAC Deputy Chairperson.

Globally, external donor funding for the AIDS response is stagnating. In 2017, it amounted to US$ 8.1 billion, similar
to levels of investment in 2008 (US$ 7.8 million). In Eastern and Southern Africa, available resources for AIDS financing reached US$ 10.6 billion, 42% of which was provided by domestic resources. UNAIDS estimates that these may be sufficient to reach the Fast-Track targets provided countries do more to increase efficiencies and effectiveness of spending.

In Western and Central Africa, only US$ 2.1 billion was available for the AIDS response in 2017, with domestic resources
accounting for one-third. This is not sufficient to meet the FastTrack targets by 2020.

“Shared responsibility and global solidarity means a shift from the concept of ‘charity’ to country ownership of the HIV and
health response; from fragmented planning to prioritization of programmes for maximum impact; from unpredictable to
sustainable and long-term financing; inclusive governance and leaving no one behind in the AIDS response,” remarked
Catherine Sozi, Director for the UNAIDS Regional Support Team for Eastern and Southern Africa.