Tony Blair launches UK's new global AIDS strategy


The strategy provides detailed spending plans for the $2.8 billion (1.5bn) for AIDS-related work committed in last week's Government Spending Review. The Prime Minister announced that at least $280.3 million (150m) will be spent helping children whose parents have died from AIDS and other children made vulnerable by AIDS. He also announced a doubling of the UK's contribution to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria over the next three years - increasing the UK donation to $280.3 million (150m).

Mr. Blair described his "personal commitment" to providing global leadership to tackle AIDS during the UK presidencies of the EU and G8 in 2005 and beyond.

Speaking at a No10 Downing Street breakfast with women and young people living with or made vulnerable by AIDS, the UK Prime Minister said:

"AIDS is a global crisis that requires an immediate and effective global response."

"'Taking Action: the UK's strategy to tackle HIV and AIDS in the developing world' - launched today - sets out how we plan to provide timely and effective global leadership to tackle the pandemic."

"We have placed a special focus on the needs of women, young people and orphans in this strategy. These are the people most vulnerable to AIDS in the developing world and I am glad to announce $280.3 million (150m) towards international efforts to support and protect orphans. I am also announcing a further $144 million (77m) for the Global Fund to fight AIDS, TB and Malaria to help fight these three diseases that thrive on poverty."

"Every year more than three million people die from AIDS. The international community has made some progress in tackling the pandemic, but not nearly enough. It is my intention that this strategy will lead and inform global efforts to halt and reverse the spread of HIV and reduce the devastating impact of AIDS."

Speaking later, International Development Secretary Hilary Benn said:

"Our new strategy sets out how we will work with developing countries, other donors and multilateral organizations to coordinate international efforts, close the $12.3 billion (6.6bn) funding gap and improve health, education and human rights for the poorest and most vulnerable in developing countries."

"The UK is committed to supporting national governments in a combination of approaches, balancing the urgent need to prevent new HIV infections with efforts to treat and care for people with HIV and AIDS. Today we are issuing guidance to UK staff on how we will step up our treatment efforts. It is only through comprehensive action against AIDS that we will be able to meet our broader development goals, as well as to help people affected by the tragedy of AIDS."

The funding allocations will flow from the $2.8 billion (1.5bn) announced during the Government's Spending Review last week.

Source: Eurekalert & others

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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