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Also In Global Health News: HIV/AIDS Grants; Africa’s Water Resources; Sex Workers In Malawi

Report Examines HIV/AIDS Grant Funding

HIV/AIDS program grants made by U.S.-based foundations totaled $618 billion in 2008, an 11 percent increase from the previous year, according to a new report by Funders Concerned About AIDS, the Chronicle of Philanthropy reports. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation accounted for the majority of the grants, and when it was “excluded, foundation giving [for HIV/AIDS] actually declined 3 percent compared to 2007.” According to the Chronicle of Philanthropy, “the coalition is urging foundations to step up their support for HIV/AIDS vaccine research, prevention, and other projects, saying the economic downturn threatens to erode recent gains in fighting the pandemic” (Wilhelm, 11/17).

SciDev.Net Examines Report On Water In Africa

SciDev.Net examines the findings of a U.N. Environment Program (UNEP) report – released last week during the 2nd Africa Water Week – that highlights the threats to Africa’s freshwater resources, including climate change. “‘The assessment clearly illustrates that Africa’s water resources are already facing serious risk, with the situation expected to worsen in future,’ the report says” and “calls for urgent adaptation measures to combat scientific and technical deficiencies, poor governance and management structures, pollution of water resources, and industrialisation and urbanization,” the news service writes (Ogodo, 11/17).

PlusNews Examines Initiative To Reduce Number Of Sex Workers In Malawi By Offering Small-Business Loans

PlusNews examines a plan in Malawi that would “offer prostitutes low-interest loans to start small businesses in return for abandoning sex work. … The plan aims to economically empower female sex workers and reduce the spread of HIV, but critics question whether it can achieve either of these goals when there are so few opportunities for Malawian women to earn more than they do from prostitution.” The article explores previous initiatives to reduce the number of sex workers in other countries as well as the difficulties former sex workers commonly face when trying to find alternative sources of income. Additionally, the article details debates over the decriminalization of sex work (11/17).