38th UNAIDS PCB Meeting, Geneva
NGO Statement: Financing
Thank you, Mr. Chair,
On behalf of the Global Network of People Living with HIV (GNP+), the Interagency Coalition on AIDS and Development (ICAD) and the STOP AIDS Alliance.
As noted yesterday, the “financing” elephant in the room needs to be urgently and critically addressed.
While there has been debate on what the precise figures may be, we now know that to get on the five-year Fast Track we must increase investments from $19 billion to at least $26.2 billion (and ideally $30 billion) by the year 2020. Despite this, we know that with competing crises, the politics of scarcity, and the flat-lining and decline in funding from donors – the math simply isn’t adding up.
We need a fully funded global HIV response.
We fully endorse the statement of NGO Europe. When it comes to funding for civil society groups and affected communities, that hold governments and donors into account, the funding crisis is not only felt within the Joint UN Programme, it is ricocheting across the civil society and community response at the local, regional and global level, particularly within “transitioning middle income countries”.
Greater investment in community responses is needed to end AIDS. UNAIDS suggests that investments in community mobilization should increase threefold to 3%, and spending on social enablers should reach 8% of total expenditure by 2020. But in a recent survey, conducted by UNAIDS, 40% of organizations tasked with implementing community activities reported that their funding had decreased since 2013 . Two thirds expected flat or declining funding in the future. The Global Fund’s Technical Review Panel has expressed concern that the majority of concept notes are not including funding requests for the community system strengthening module at all.
The success of Fast Track and reaching the 90-90-90 targets depends on community, a community that while invited to the table, can no longer afford to be there.
In countries of all income levels there remains insufficient investment in human rights interventions. UNAIDS estimates that annual global spending on the human rights response to HIV is less than 0.13% of total AIDS spending in low- and middle-income countries. Funding for harm reduction programs that target people who use drugs also remains far below estimated need. This gap will fall gravely short of rectifying our global failure to meet the 2015 targets to address HIV among people who use drugs, as outlined under the 2011 UNGASS declaration. We call upon member States to increase funding for programs aimed at reducing the human rights-related barriers to accessing services by all affected populations, including interventions led by civil society and key population groups and regional networks themselves.
One key issue for us to ponder is that the constant fluctuations in bilateral and multilateral donor funding schemes have left many countries with a profound lack of mid-to-long term predictability and sustainability for national HIV responses, programs, services and the work of civil society.
Further, the current shift for bilateral and multilateral donors is to adjust their investment eligibility of “so-called” middle income countries into transitioning out of donor dependency prior to ensuring the sustainability of their treatment, prevention and care needs of their local populations. The proposed Global Fund transition plans for Middle Income Countries requires a 400% increase in domestic funding. Is this realistic? Without appropriate, responsible and coordinated planning of social, economic, and political commitment, it will but continue to widen the inequalities that key affected and vulnerable populations still face.
In closing, the Fast Track targets will remain an ambitious illusion unless we revolutionize our vision, our leadership and catalyze our commitment towards addressing the complexities around long-term financing. We need to move beyond a “business as usual’ approach and demand action.
Let’s not backtrack on our Fast Track response.