UK government development priorities and HIV
In February 2011 DfID also publicshed their Bilateral Aid Review (BAR) Country Summary report, which outlines what the UK will fund at individual country level and their key priority areas. The UK government have agreed to fund HIV programmes through large multilateral organisations such as the Global Fund but they have pulled out of funding HIV-related programmes at country level, at least until 2015.
This is not in line with a report launched by the House of Commons on World AIDS Day 2010, outlining the Progress on the Implementation of DfIDs HIV Strategy. One of the key recommendations in this paper stated: Although we welcome the increase in access to anti-retroviral treatment, which has been achieved, it is a serious concern to us that the global commitment to provide universal access to treatment by 2010 will not be met. We urge DfID to expand its programmes to increase access to anti-retroviral treatment.
Progress has been made over the last 10 years with regards to provision of HIV services in developing countries and DfiD have played a crucial role in this progress so far.
If DfID are to reduce their funding of HIV programmes to Global fund contributions only and not prioritise HIV at country level, it is difficult to see how they are taking the recommendations from the WAD paper forward.
Previous efforts need to be scaled up and built upon rather than scaled down and forgotten. HIV is intrinsically linked to other key DfID priority areas such as Malaria, TB, Maternal and Child Health, Wealth Creation and Poverty Reduction. Now there is evidence that treatment not only saves the lives of those already HIV-positive but can also reduce transmission of HIV, we should be concentrating UK resources to providing essential HIV services to those who need it.
It is important to act now, to lobby our MPs, write letters, ask questions and speak to local councilors about the importance of the UKs continued leadership on HIV at international, national and regional level.
DfIDs Bilateral Aid Review (BAR) Country Summary report:
House of Commons report on Progress on the Implementation of DfIDs HIV Strategy: