Where is the Money? A new campaign for HIV/AIDS

29 March 2011

Where is the Money is an international campaign that aims to expose global funding gaps in the response to the HIV and AIDS epidemic. Where is the Money was inspired by work being done by the AIDS and Rights Alliance for Southern Africa (ARASA) in 2009, and has been supported by a consortium of international organizations including the Asia Pacific Council of AIDS Service Organizations (APCASO). The campaign was formally launched on World AIDS Day, December 1, 2010.

The purpose of Where is the Money is to raise awareness surrounding a variety of issues associated with the current HIV and AIDS funding climate. Specifically, the campaign addresses how much money is needed to fight HIV, how much has been promised by national governments and international institutions, and the waste that results from corruption and inefficiently disbursed funding.

The goals of the campaign are to:

  1. Make aware the fact that global funding for HIV and AIDS prevention and treatment has dramatically slowed and in some cases disappeared, despite the fact that funding has never been sufficient to meet global need.
  2. Contribute to sustainable global funding for HIV and AIDS.
  3. Contribute to the effective use of global funding for HIV and AIDS (particularly regarding government corruption).
  4. Make clear that HIV and AIDS funding is a worthy economic investment. Immediate financial costs are nothing compared to the cost of human lives

The campaign emphasizes the fact that there is enough money in the world to devote sufficient resources to HIV and AIDS.

- Every region of the world increased its military spending over the last two years.

- In 2010, the US allotted $719.2 billion for military defense expenditures compared with approximately $6.5 billion contributed to the global AIDS epidemic.

- The European Union distributed $70 billion in agricultural subsidies in 2009, compared with approximately $2.7 billion to global AIDS.

Despite these sufficient resources, funding for HIV and AIDS programmes around the world is flattening or declining.

- The international community failed to reach even the minimum needed $13 billion during the 2010 October Global Fund replenishment.

- The US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) has grown less than 5% per year since 2008, despite growing 25% annually from 2004-2008.

- National governments around the world are reducing domestic AIDS spending.

Where is the Money stresses that if we don’t do something about HIV and AIDS now, the number of people in need of life-sustaining treatment will continue to increase. It is only going to get more expensive.

Action must be taken. There is a need to:

- Closely monitor AIDS funding decisions made by international agencies and national governments.

- Increase transparency at all levels, the international, national, and local, and create disincentives for corruption.

- Demand sustainable funding sources for AIDS programs.

- Focus on prevention and human-rights-based approaches, to ensure that rates of new HIV infections will eventually decline.

- Reform international policy to promote national governments investing in health, and to ensure just pricing of needed AIDS treatment.

What are your thoughts? Important issue? Interesting campaign? Leave a comment and have your say!

Check out the youtube video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O-mfUdxKO6s

For more information on the campaign, visit http://www.moneyforaids.org/

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