Today AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), which provides AIDS medical care and services to more than 182,000 individuals in 26 countries worldwide, strongly criticized Britain for cutting its bilateral funding contribution to combat global HIV/AIDS by nearly one-third. AHF says that this drastic reduction in funding signals “a troubling trend” that is “unfortunately, being led by the U.S.”According to an article in “The Guardian” (HIV/AIDS overseas budget to be cut back by almost a third, by Mark Tran and Claire Provost, October 4, 2011): “Britain is cutting back bilateral aid for HIV and Aids projects in developing countries by almost a third over the next four years, according to data from the Department for International Development. Overall spending by DfiD on HIV/Aids between now and 2015 will decrease by 32% by 2015 – from 59.9m [British Pounds] to 41m. The funding will drop by nearly 85% in Asia (from 13m to 2m) and 17% in Africa (from 46.9m to 39m).”“Britain’s announcement that it is retreating on its commitment by drastically reducing funding for global HIV/AIDS programs in the developing world signals a terrifying shift – one that could cost millions of lives,” said Michael Weinstein, President of AIDS Healthcare Foundation.
Added Weinstein: “Unfortunately, this troubling trend is being led by the U.S. and the Obama administration. This administration has not only done little to address the growing AIDS drug crisis in the U.S., but has also made reductions in global HIV/AIDS funding that have been widely criticized. Retreating on the U.S. commitment on global AIDS is turning our backs on people in need. How are they supposed to trust and deal with us going forward when we are just walking away? Funding cuts will cost lives. It will also tarnish and jeopardize U.S. interests—and the world’s—for years to come.”
According to “The Guardian”: “The analysis of DfID’s projected global health funding follows the release of a report from UNAids and the US-based Kaiser Family Foundation, which found that HIV and Aids funding from 15 of the world’s largest donors fell in 2010 for the first time in a decade. The fall in funding from 2009 to 2010 was largely driven by a reduction in disbursements from the US, the single largest donor for HIV and Aids programmes in developing countries. While Washington appropriated about $5.5bn for Aids in both 2009 and 2010, disbursements dropped from $4.4bn in 2009 to $3.7bn in 2010.”