This time last year we voiced our fears of an impending funding crisis for the HIV response. With many donor governments introducing austerity measures, funding commitments were revoked and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria was forced to cancel its Round 11 funding.
These decisions could have had a huge impact on Alliance programmes and undermined the progress being made in the HIV response. In response we published a hard-hitting report, Don’t Stop Now! How underfunding the Global Fund impacts on the HIV response, clearly highlighting the effects these cuts would have on individuals and communities. It included impact studies from Bangladesh, Bolivia, South Sudan, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
This first report was followed up by HIV, Drug Use and the Global Fund: Don’t Stop Now! which showed how harm reduction programmes and the HIV epidemic would be affected by the very low levels of funding at that time. The report focused on China, Ukraine and Vietnam, all middle-income countries that would have been affected by the proposed ‘55% rule’. We also launched our ‘What’s Preventing Prevention?’ campaign which resulted in 500 petitions being sent to Global Fund Board members in just one day.
BACK IN BUSINESS
In May the Global Fund announced it was back in the business of funding new programmes and that it would ‘freeze’ its 55% rule. The pressure to continue financing HIV, from us and others in the development sector, has prevented the significant decline that many predicted, but some pledges still needed to be honoured at that time.
We continued the fight at AIDS 2012, the 19th International AIDS Conference. Representatives from Linking Organisations and the secretariat were speakers in key events and ‘Don’t Stop Now’ took to the street joining a 2,000 strong public march during the conference.
In December 2012, to coincide with World AIDS Day, we launched a report Calling for a UK Blueprint to achieve an HIV-free generation. Simply maintaining its HIV spending at around 7.1% of its official development assistance (ODA) and honouring the commitment to spend 0.7% of gross domestic product for ODA , would make this possible.
We can be proud of the contribution our advocacy efforts have made in 2012 but we know we need to be prepared to adapt. This includes exploring more innovative financing solutions, particularly as development funding is rapidly withdrawn from middle-income countries, where the majority of the 34 million people living with HIV reside.
Read how we plan to address these challenges in our new strategy HIV, Health and Rights: Sustaining Community Action.
This case study is an example of how we help form engaged, inclusive societies, which is response 3 of our 2010-12 strategy, HIV and Healthy Communities. Find out more about our impact in our 2012 Annual Review: Ambition and Acceleration.
More info: View photos from the Don't Stop Now! campaign at the march in Washington here.