Britain is cutting bilateral aid for HIV/AIDS projects in developing countries by 32 percent, from 59.9 million pounds to 41 million pounds, between now and 2015, according to data from the Department for International Development (DfID), the Guardian reports. “The drop in support comes despite a 92 percent rise in Britain’s bilateral aid for global health, from 376 million pounds to 723 million pounds by 2015, when reproductive, maternal and newborn health will absorb 64 percent of DfID’s global health funding,” the newspaper writes.
Programs, Funding & Financing
“At a press briefing in London on Wednesday, British officials are expected to pledge 20 million pounds ($31 million) over four years to” a campaign led by the Carter Center, the WHO, and the CDC to eradicate guinea worm, a parasitic disease that now exists only in four African countries, by 2015, the Associated Press/Seattle Times reports. Former President Jimmy Carter and British officials are urging other donors to come forward with additional funding, the news service writes (10/4). The WHO “reports it is very close to eradicating guinea worm” and that “it needs $350 million to finish the job,” VOA News notes (Schlein, 10/4).
A UNAIDS feature story reports on a roundtable discussion held at the Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research (CAPRISA) in South Africa last month, which “looked at ways of maximizing the opportunities created by scientific research around HIV prevention in the past year to reach the country’s target of halving…
As Congress looks to reduce the U.S. national debt, “both the Republican-controlled House and the Democrat-controlled Senate have proposed slashing financing for the State Department and its related aid agencies at a time of desperate humanitarian crises and uncertain political developments,” the New York Times reports. The proposed cuts to President Barack Obama’s FY12 spending request would be “the first significant cuts in overseas aid in nearly two decades, a retrenchment that officials and advocates say reflects the country’s diminishing ability to influence the world,” according to the newspaper. The reductions would affect global health programs and humanitarian assistance for disaster-hit areas, among other programs, the newspaper notes.
At an event at the Newseum in Washington, D.C., on Monday, Barbara Bush, CEO of Global Health Corps and a board member of Population Services International (PSI), told the Daily Caller that reducing foreign aid as part of efforts to reduce the national debt would have “enormous implications for the U.S. if we don’t continue the efforts that we’ve already started” (Ballasy, 10/3). The event marked the launch of a campaign called “The Power of 1%,” sponsored by PSI, FHI360, PATH, World Vision and ONE and aimed at highlighting “the economics of global health and the benefits U.S. investments overseas have for Americans at home,” according to a campaign press release (.pdf) (10/3).
Uganda’s Daily Monitor reports on the status of the country’s free health care system, which it writes “is in crisis despite the billions of shillings of mostly donor money flowing in every year.” According to the newspaper, “Visits to a dozen health centers across the country revealed a chronic shortage of beds, drugs and medical personnel, confirming a recent verdict by the Anti-Corruption Coalition of Uganda that ‘service delivery and general care is almost not there.'”
In this post in the Center for Global Development’s “Global Health Policy” blog, Mead Over, a senior fellow at the center, follows up on a post last week in which he wrote that a panel of senior economists commissioned by the Rush Foundation was to address the question of how to…
“Angola has tripled its spending on health care since 2006, but for the vast majority of Angolans who can’t afford sparkling new private clinics — or better yet, care abroad — a trip to the hospital is still a nightmare,” Agence France-Presse reports. “Despite its oil wealth, in 2006 Angola ranked ninth from the bottom in the world on health spending, which accounted for just 2.5 percent of gross domestic product. Since then, spending per person has tripled from $64 to $204, according to World Health Organization data,” according to AFP.
“Congress has … blocked $200 million in aid to the Palestinian Authority [PA] since August, in a move a PA official described as ‘collective punishment’ for its United Nations bid” for statehood, GlobalPost reports (10/1). “The economic package is separate from security aid, which the U.S. lawmakers say would be counterproductive to block,” Agence France-Presse writes (10/2).
In a Huffington Post opinion piece, Kolleen Bouchane, director of ACTION, asks whether President Barack Obama will “heed Archbishop [Desmond] Tutu’s call to action” in a recent Washington Post opinion piece “and do his part to end AIDS.” She says, “While campaigning, President Obama promised to expand PEPFAR ‘by $1 billion a year in new money over the next five years’ and provide $50 billion by 2013 to fight HIV/AIDS worldwide. We are not on track to see even those promises become reality. We are not on track for the leadership to change the course of HIV and AIDS that Tutu has called for.”