Africa: UK HIV Funding Tap Closes - Big and 'Shameful' Blow to Africa

UNAIDS has called for greater urgency as its 2019 AIDS report shows that the pace of progress in reducing new HIV infections, increasing access to treatment and ending AIDS-related deaths is slowing down (file photo).

The UK's major funding cuts to UNAids will hit home hard in Africa and South Africa where the fight to beat HIV/Aids is far from over.

The trickle-down impact of the UK's announcement in April to slash funding to UNAids by 83% is expected to hit hard in South Africa where the HIV burden remains high and NGOs are already on the ropes.

The UK contribution to the agency drops to £2.5-million in 2021 from £15-million in 2020. UNAids called the cuts "deep and significant", but UK charities and NGOs, including Frontline Aids, which has offices in South Africa, have slammed the decision by Boris Johnson's government as "shameful" and "maddeningly short-sighted".

UNAids executive director Winnie Byanyima and South Africa's country coordinator, Mbulawa Mugabe, declined to comment directly on Maverick Citizen's questions about the likely implications in the next few months for local NGOs that rely heavily on international donors and UNAids support, or what strategies the agency has in place to bridge the funding gaps.

Its statement reads: "We are assessing the full scope and impact of the cut and are actively formulating mitigation strategies... We hope that the UK will decide to supplement...

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