Amid fears that global health funding will get shortchanged in this steep economic downturn, there are a couple of good-news glimmers today. Not from the U.S., though.
First is a report that the European Commission plans to boost its support for HIV prevention in southern Africa.
Details—like dollar figures—were notably scarce. But Alessandro Mariani, the European Union’s ambassador to Malawi, told AFP: “Prevention, prevention and prevention will be our main objective. We want a new generation which is HIV free” Click here for the full AFP story.
The second is a story in the Financial Times that Philippe Douste-Blazy, head of UNITAID, is trying to persuade the online travel industry to offer airline passengers a way to donate $2 per flight to worldwide HIV/AIDS, TB, and malaria efforts when they book tickets on the Web.
The effort aims to raise more than $1 billion and the story suggests the former French foreign minister is having some success in getting the industry’s CEOs to sign on.
Here’s a snipet from the FT: “With government overseas aid budgets under pressure because of the global financial crisis, the United Nations is turning to private industry and individuals to finance the battle against Aids, tuberculosis and malaria, which collectively kill 6m people a year.
“Philippe Douste-Blazy, former French foreign minister and head of Unitaid, the agency behind the online donation plan that is due to be launched at the UN General Assembly this autumn, says he has contacted chief executives of the top companies in the online travel industry and had a positive response.” Click here to read more.