GENEVA, 24 June 2022—The 50th meeting of the UNAIDS Program Coordinating Board (PCB), which started on 21 June, concluded with decisions to strengthen access to HIV services for those most vulnerable to the HIV pandemic and measures to help close the funding gaps in the global HIV response, including funding for UNAIDS.
Funding shortfalls in the global HIV response continue to limit progress in key areas, particularly for vulnerable groups of people. At the end of 2020, only US$21.5 billion was available for the HIV response in low- and middle-income countries — well below the US$29 billion needed by 2025 to end the HIV pandemic. AIDS as a global health threat by 2030. Similarly, UNAIDS capacities have been eroded by the underfunding of the Unified Budget, Results and Accountability Framework (UBRAF). To make progress, save lives and ensure that people living with HIV or at risk have access to the services and resources they need, the global AIDS response must be fully resourced.
In her opening address to the meeting, UNAIDS Executive Director Winnie Byanyima described the AIDS response as being strained with new challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the war in Ukraine and the economic crisis. However, she said she believed that the Global AIDS Strategy 2021-2026, which aims to eliminate the inequalities driving the pandemic, could overcome these crises if fully resourced.
The PCB took note of the UNAIDS budget shortfall and difficult resource mobilization environment and called on donor governments to release their contributions to the UBRAF 2022-2026 sooner and to make multi-year contributions, and to seriously consider increasing their contributions to facilitate a stronger UNAIDS. response to the global AIDS strategy.
He called for the early establishment of an inclusive Informal Task Team made up of interested PCB members, observers, Cosponsors, PCB NGO delegates and other stakeholders to come up with options to resolve immediate funding crisis for the 2022-2023 biennium and to report to the PCB Bureau by the end of July 2022 on the results and recommendations of these discussions. In anticipation of the upcoming UNAIDS Structured Funding Dialogue, he called on the PCB Bureau to use the informal multi-stakeholder task team to develop recommendations on sustainable voluntary funding from the UBRAF, which will be presented and discussed at the next PCB in December 2022.
During the meeting, there was a welcome increase in funding pledges to UNAIDS. The UK announced an increase in funding to £8m for 2022 from £2.5m in 2021. In doing so, the UK underscored the importance of sufficient, predictable funding and timely to enable UNAIDS to fulfill its mandate. In addition, Germany will increase its contribution to €6 million from €5 million previously, in recognition of UNAIDS for its work to maintain HIV and other health services. in conflict situations around the world, including in Ukraine and neighboring countries. Members also warmly welcomed the United States’ contribution of an additional US$5 million to the work of UNAIDS, bringing its contribution to US$50 million.
In his remarks to the PCB, Global Fund Executive Director Peter Sands highlighted the importance of the 7th Global Fund Replenishment Meeting to be held in the United States in September, which aims to achieve a target of 18 billions of dollars to continue the work of the organization. work. Mr Sands also called for UNAIDS to be fully funded.
“Fully funding the AIDS response to end AIDS by 2030 means fully funding ALL partners,” said Mr Sands. “UNAIDS country-level presence supports all grant development and implementation, ensuring that country proposals for Global Fund programs are well-designed based on science , providing vital real-time data and helping governments make key policy and program changes and address bottlenecks, is vital to ensuring the success of the Global Fund’s work. us and UNAIDS.
In his first public appearance since being confirmed to his post by the US Senate in May, US Global AIDS Coordinator and Special Representative for Global Health Diplomacy John Nkengasong, said it was essential that the Global Fund and UNAIDS be fully funded. to ensure further progress in the fight against the HIV pandemic.
“The Global Fund is essential. UNAIDS is essential. These institutions are as important to each other as they are to the countries they support.
Ms Byanyima updated the PCB on actions taken under three global strategic initiatives: Education Plus, the Alliance to End HIV in Children and the 10-10-10 targets of the Political Declaration. Turning her attention to the war in Ukraine, Ms Byanyima said UNAIDS had worked closely with the Ukrainian government, communities, civil society and partners, including the President’s Emergency Plan for the Fight against AIDS and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria to ensure that sufficient supplies of anti-HIV drugs had reached Ukrainians inside and outside the country.
Ms Byanyima said scientific advances in the AIDS response had the potential to save many more lives if inequities in access could be overcome.
“Recent scientific developments, such as long-acting anti-HIV technologies, hold great potential. UNAIDS builds alliances on access to long-acting injectables and actively engages with Cosponsors, scientists, the private sector and civil society to advance this issue.
However, she told board members that the recent World Trade Organization meeting on a TRIPS waiver had not made the hoped-for progress.
“Global trade and intellectual property rules continue to allow for-profit corporations to set public health policy during global health emergencies. And they choose profits over saving lives,” Ms Byanyima said.
The PCB concluded with a thematic segment titled Positive Learning: Harnessing the power of education to end HIV-related stigma and discrimination and empower young people living with HIV, which included powerful contributions from young people delegates addressing the need to end HIV-related stigma and discrimination. discrimination and the importance of comprehensive sex education.
The meeting was chaired by Thailand with Germany as vice-chair and Kenya as rapporteur. The report to the Board of the UNAIDS Executive Director, reports for each agenda item and PCB decisions can be found at 50th meeting, UNAIDS Program Coordinating Board, 21-24 June 2022 | UNAIDS
Board members agreed that the 51st PCB meeting in December 2022 should be held in Bangkok, Thailand.
The Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) leads and inspires the world to achieve its shared vision of zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths. UNAIDS unites the efforts of 11 UN organizations — UNHCR, UNICEF, WFP, UNDP, UNFPA, UNODC, UN Women, ILO, UNESCO, WHO and the World Bank –— and works closely with global partners and national goals to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030 as part of the Sustainable Development Goals. Learn more about unaids.org and join us on Facebook, Twitter, instagram and Youtube.