UK Cuts Critical HIV Funding in 'Shameful' Blow to Africa

The United Kingdom'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, writes Ufrieda Ho for Daily Maverick. 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". The move is in line with information from Avert, an international HIV and AIDS charity, whiich claims that high-income countries have reduced funding for the HIV response in low- and middle-income countries in recent years, with a 7% decrease reported between 2015 and 2016.

InFocus

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).

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