Lack of Money Endangers UN Plan to Treat HIV/AIDS Sufferers
March 18, 2004
The World Health Organization's ambitious "3 by 5" campaign -- which aims to get 3 million people in developing countries onto antiretroviral treatment by 2005 -- is in danger because governments have failed to fund an important part of the operation, UN officials and campaigners said Wednesday. The campaign has only received $65 million of the $218 million it needs over the next two years, and most of those funds have been spent, said Alex Ross, chief of staff of the UN-administered Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.Adapted from:
To date, only the British government has publicly announced a donation specifically for the 3 by 5 campaign -- 3 million pounds (US$5.6 million). The balance of funds raised so far has come from general donations to WHO and UNAIDS and from WHO's own coffers.
AIDS campaigners are worried that funding problems for the 3 by 5 campaign threaten the multibillion-dollar efforts of the Global Fund, which provides money and medicines for treatment and prevention programs in developing countries based on proposals for projects put forth by governments.
However, just around 40 percent of proposals to the fund are considered appropriate, and many governments say they need assistance to develop the projects, in addition to setting up health care and procurement systems to make them work. This help is supposed to come from the 3 by 5 project. Last week, WHO put $1 million into an "emergency deployment," sending 40 staffers to 21 countries to assist them in preparing proposals before the April deadline for submissions to the Global Fund's next funding round, Ross said.
03.17.04; Naomi Koppel
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