Two reports highlight: While epidemic marches on, funding remains in 2008

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While disbursements of donor funds has bounced back from a bureacracy-delay-driven dip last year, money committed to fighting the AIDS epidemic has remained at 2008 levels for the last three years, an analysis jointly released today by the Kaiser Family Foundation and UNAIDS shows. Their report, Financing the Response to AIDS in Low-and Middle-Income Countries: International Assistance from Donor Governments in 2011, looks at donor government aid to recipient countries as well as contributions to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS Tuberculosis and Malaria, and to UNITAID.

At the same time, UNAIDS released a report entitled Together we will end AIDS today showing the the number of people living with HIV continued to rise  to an estimated 34.2 million people in 2011, a credit in part to efforts in previous years to get treatment to more of those who need it. 

The funding report notes that the stuck-in-a-time-capsule trend poses a challenge to reaching a UN Political Declaration investment target of $22-24 billion needed by 2015.

The drop in available AIDS-fighting money last year came from new PEPFAR reporting requirements that delayed disbursement of committed funds, Jennifer Kates of Kaiser, and one of the authors of the report told Science Speaks.

The United States was the largest donor in the world, giving more than half of all the funding that came from donor governments in 2011, the Kaiser/UNAIDS report showed, part of what the report called a “subset of donor governments” that has provided the bulk of the response to the epidemic for the last ten years, that also includes the United Kingdom, France, the Netherlands, Germany, and Denmark.

But the report also provides measures whether the United States or other countries are paying their fair share.

You can look at whether a country is donating its fair share to fight the global AIDS epidemic by comparing its share of the donor response to its share in the world’s economy. By that measure, the United States, which gave 27 percent of the $16.8 billion given worldwide by all sources — governments, multilateral charities, private sector, and domestic — donated not only the largest percent, but exceeded its share — 22 percent —  of the world economy.

Or you can look at the actual size of a country’s economy and compare it to the actual size of its donation. By that measure, the United States, which donated $298.60 for every $1 million of its gross domestic product, comes in sixth, in terms of paying its fair share. Denmark, which donated $568.60 for every million of its GDP, comes in first by that measure. Also giving bigger shares than the United States by this measure, are, in descending order: the United Kingdom, Netherlands, Ireland and Sweden.

The report also notes that the United Kingdom increased its funding significantly after a government decision to build its contribution to development assistance by 40 percent over three years. Ireland, Japan, and the Netherlands dropped funding.

The data analyzed for the report reflects funding for HIV services — prevention, care, treatment, and support but not funding for international HIV research conducted in donor countries.

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