The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS) says it regrets the decision of the United Kingdom (UK) to reduce its financial support by 80%.
In a statement, UNAIDS the move by the UK will have a significant impact on the provision of life-saving HIV services, access to sexual and reproductive health and rights, and upholding the human rights of the most marginalised. The statement says:
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The government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (UK) has informed UNAIDS that funding for UNAIDS for 2021 is confirmed at GBP 2.5 million, compared to the GBP 15 million received by UNAIDS from the UK for 2020.
This cut of GBP 12.5 million (or more than 80%) is significant. It affects the provision of life-saving HIV prevention and treatment services around the world.
It affects the empowerment of young women and adolescent girls and their access to sexual and reproductive health and rights across the world, and Africa in particular. It impacts on support to upholding the human rights of some of the most marginalized people, including lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender, queer and intersex people in low- and middle-income countries. It reduces global health security.
UNAIDS recognizes the challenging situation facing many governments, yet deeply regrets this decision of our longstanding partner and advocate. We are assessing the full scope and impact of the cut and are actively formulating mitigation strategies.
The UK government has said the decision does not reflect a diminished commitment to UNAIDS or the HIV response. UNAIDS will continue working with the UK and partners to explore ways to ensure continuity and predictability of funding to sustain the hard-won gains in the fight against HIV and to end AIDS as a public health threat by 2030.
The UK has been a leader in the fight against AIDS. It has called for the G7 to be centred on beating pandemics and is rallying the world for girls’ education and empowerment.
UNAIDS is determined to deliver breakthroughs on those together with the UK. We hope that the UK, which has rated UNAIDS ‘A’ for delivery, will decide to supplement its current allocation for 2021.