Agenda Item 1.3 – Report of the Executive Director
Delivered by Dasha Ocheret, Europe NGO Delegate
Dear Mr. Chair, Dear Michel,
Today we often hear that investments in HIV response grow and that national governments of developing nations increase their share of funding for HIV programs in their countries. In your speech you mention a number of examples of success and praise countries for increased investment of domestic resources in evidence-based programs.
The NGO delegation would be happy to share your enthusiasm, but there are certain issues which we can’t ignore. While domestic investments in AIDS response are growing, the demand is growing as well, and the gap between the need and the availability of resources is persistently increasing.
First of all, new HIV treatment guidelines recommend initiating HIV treatment earlier, which automatically leads to the necessity to pay for additional years of treatment for millions of people. Even with generic competition for the 1st line drugs it means substantial financial pressure on the budget. With the 2nd and 3rd line drugs and treatment for co-infections including the hepatitis C, unaffordable prices which are guaranteed by the free trade agreements, this need is not likely to be covered by any of middle-income states even with the support of international donors. We will address this issue in detail in the NGO report later today.
Secondly, in countries with concentrated epidemic we see misalignment between national HIV funding priorities and health needs of key affected populations. Despite of expectations of the international donors, governments in Eastern Europe and Central Asia covered less than one percent of harm reduction costs from national budgets in 2012/13. In 2014 the situation hasn’t significantly changed. In 2015 the Global Fund’s funding for harm reduction in that region will decrease by 36% in Ukraine and by 50% in Kyrgyzstan.
In Vietnam, which you have mentioned in your report, sustaining harm reduction and methadone programs at the current level which allows keeping HIV among PWIDs under control is under question today as the government is going to decrease HIV funding by more than 60%, and harm reduction program will experience significant budget cuts.
Moreover, rarely do high impact countries align their AIDS investment with social and economic investment, particularly when it comes to the most marginalised populations such as people who inject drugs.
Again, we call for reality check.
We insist on realistic assessment of funding needs and on tracking the actual investment. We hope that UNAIDS will continuing support the civil in our advocacy for increasing the national and global funds – including through progressive taxation– better resource allocation, and for ARV price reduction.