40th PCB Meeting
Agenda point 4: UBRAF
Delivered by: Sonal Mehta, Asia Pacific delegate
Thank you Chair.
The NGO Delegation appreciates the detailed reporting on core and non-core spending and regional expenditure details. We would further appreciate if there was a simpler and direct infographic on achievements till date and the impact of the budget cuts on the lives of people living with HIV and other key populations, which would make it simpler for our communities and organisations to understand.
More importantly, we are very concerned about the budget cuts, and it is critical to understand its wider implications on communities and other donor institutions and their capacities and efficiencies in the future. In the changing scenario, most of the financial mechanisms of bilateral or multilateral donors leave countries and sometimes entire regions, when the Joint Programme is most needed to create space for communities and civil societies to organize dialogues with our governments to increase domestic funding or politically prioritise the issue.
We are particularly concerned and would like to know what is the implication of the reduced budget on the earlier commitments of the 2016 Political Declaration in particular 60(d) on expanding community-service delivery to 30% of all service delivery by 2030, and 64(a) on ensuring that at least 6% of all global AIDS resources are allocated for social enablers including advocacy and community mobilization.
A specific point we would like to highlight is more clarity on Figure 2 of the 2018-2019 budget document report on page 17 about the 22 million (and save is true for 58 million) that is supposed to be allocated as country envelopes. We seek clarity on how the priorities of countries will be decided in reference to the set of criteria on page 35, when country level presence of the Joint Programme is severely affected by the proposed budget cuts. We urge the Joint Programme to ensure that communities are involved in this decision-making process, especially in the absence of the Joint Programme on the ground. The process mentioned on page 35 in box needs to be coupled with principles or ground rules. It will be unfortunate if the Joint Programme decides within itself with blessings from governments rather than engaging communities.
We would like to appeal to donor Member States to keep their contributions and increase them if they can, and for other Member States to be new donors, since every penny counts. We are tired of hearing that money is short when we see millions being spent on criminalizing and locking up people who use drugs, sex workers, transgender people and men who have sex with men. Every year, according to latest HRI reportgovernments spend 100 billion dollars on drug control strategies. Stop the criminalization of our people by stopping the investment on punitive actions and invest those resources into cost-effective life-saving prevention and treatment programmes for all.
The AIDS response is not mere disease response, but it is a statement of inclusion, an example of a rights-based movement and a successful model of a multi-sectoral complex partnership.
Finally, we would like to emphasise that we do not forget the communities whose lives are going to be affected by the decisions we make today. #THEUNAIDSWENEED must make decisions based on its mission and not simply to ‘keep the model’.