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MSF Expresses Concern Over Proposed FY13 Spending Reduction For PEPFAR

Medical aid organization Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) has expressed concern over proposed cuts to PEPFAR under the White House FY 2013 budget proposal, “saying it will undermine the president’s own goals” of “treat[ing] six million people infected with HIV around the world by the end of 2013,” VOA News reports. While President Obama “has pledged to expand PEPFAR to include more people, his budget proposal for the fiscal year 2013 cuts more than a half-billion dollars from” bilateral HIV/AIDS programs, VOA writes.

“Jennifer Cohn, the East Africa policy adviser for the MSF Access Campaign, said she is concerned that countries that receive PEPFAR support may begin scaling back their own treatment programs in anticipation of the cuts,” according to the news service. “PEPFAR senior adviser Tom Walsh said all the budget figures being discussed are preliminary and that some of the country figures are certain to change,” VOA writes, adding, “Still, he emphasized that PEPFAR has made dramatic gains in efficiency, and that the budget requested for 2013 is the amount needed” (Joselow, 4/10).