UN Needs $11.3 Billion to Combat AIDS by 2010

by VR Sreeraman on  February 11, 2009 at 5:42 PM AIDS/HIV News   - G J E 4
 UN Needs $11.3 Billion to Combat AIDS by 2010
The world needs to spend another 11.3 billion dollars to reach the goal of providing universal AIDS treatment in over 100 countries by 2010, the UNAIDS chief said Tuesday.

Michel Sidibe, the UN agency's new director, said that a total of 25 billion dollars (19.2 billion euros) was needed to reach the goal of providing medical care as well as prevention services.

Just over half of that amount is currently available, he said.

He urged donors not to let the global economic downturn prevent them from funding projects required to meet the ambitious targets in 111 countries.

"We cannot let the economic crisis paralyse us. Stimulus packages and economic adjustments should be made with a human face in mind," he said in a speech in the sprawling township of Khayelitsha, outside Cape Town.

"We don't need much money, we need only 25 billion. Twenty-five billion is nothing for saving 1.3 million lives, making sure 2.6 million are not infected," Sidibe said.

Around 13.7 billion dollars was invested in 2008 to battle the disease which has killed over two million people around the world.

One third of the additional money should come from domestic sources in each country, Sidibe said, assuming that governments do not shave their health budgets to cope with the downturn.

Khayelitsha was where South Africa first provided anti-retrovirals in 2001, three years before national government gave in to pressure to provide treatment across the country.

South Africa has the world's highest AIDS caseload at five million people.

Globally, nearly 33 million are now infected with HIV with 2.7 million new infections in 2007.

Source: AFP

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