“This is a brave decision and one we applaud. The government knows the incredibly important role that Britain plays in the world when it comes to providing support for the poorest and have today kept their pledge to those most in need,” said Alvaro Bermejo, Executive Director of the International HIV/AIDS Alliance.
The reality of the UK aid budget is that it saves lives and transforms communities worldwide for just 0.56% of the government’s spending, or less than a third of what was spent bailing out the UK bank, Northern Rock.
Whilst hardship will continue to impact the lives of people across the UK, around the world the financial crisis has pushed over 60 million people into extreme poverty.
“Aid spending works,” added Bermejo. “Thanks to investment of the UK and others in the effective work of the Global Fund for AIDS, TB and Malaria for example, over 2.5 million people are alive and receiving HIV treatment today and this is just one small part of the UK’s wider aid agenda. We should be incredibly proud of this success story,” he said.
In hard financial times the Alliance knows that every pound counts which is why we invest in innovative approaches so that through HIV prevention, treatment and care individual lives can be saved and we can keep families, and communities healthy, strong and productive.
We support community based care models that can reach the most vulnerable with cost effective services and innovations like the UNITAID Patent Pool that the UK government helped to create. This has led to a significantly reduced cost in treatment.
For the Alliance, it’s thanks in part to the UK’s Department of International Development funding that we were able to reach nearly 3.2 million people across 36 countries with Alliance programmes and we have more than doubled the number of people we reached through our prevention programmes to over 1.9 million last year.
“This has been an important day for poor people in our world. We now need to ensure that funds remain adequate to continue to tackle HIV around the world,” said Anton Kerr, Head of Policy.
In these times of austerity, the affects of the financial crisis are felt hardest in developing countries. A Robin Hood Tax could raise in excess of $700 billion a year, to provide funds to improve the lives of disadvantaged people at home and abroad. Read more.