UNAIDS has announced a major cut in its budget as a result of reduced funding from the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (UK). The budget confirmed from the UK by UNAIDS for 2021 from the GBP 2.5 million which is a significant dip from approximately GBP 12.5 million, (80%) from the GBP 15 million received by UNAIDS.
UNAIDS is lauded for its efforts towards ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030 as part of the Sustainable Development Goals and the budget cut is bound to affect the provision of live-saving HIV prevention and treatment services.
While Reach A Hand Uganda acknowledges the challenges that governments, multilateral and bilateral funding partners are facing, we also recognise the impact of the decision on international and national HIV/AIDS management programmes as a result of this decision.
Reach A Hand Uganda recognises the burden of the HIV/AIDS pandemic around the world and in Uganda. There are currently 1,500,000 million people around the world who live with HIV/AIDS. In Uganda, the Ministry of Health estimates 2019, the HIV prevalence among adults (15-49 years) in Uganda at 5.6%. The ministry also notes that the prevalence is higher among females at 6.9% than males 5.3%. The cut is bound to reverse the tremendous strides made over the years, cognizant of Uganda’s HIV/AIDS history.
UNAIDS has supported several NGOs in Africa and in Uganda whose beneficiaries may miss out on key programme interventions. Reach A Hand Uganda stands with the millions of women adolescents and young people who will be affected by this decision. The situation only strengthens our resolve to ensure we reach as many young people as possible with HIV/AIDS information and other sexual reproductive Health Rights information and services.
Our prayer like the UNAIDS is that the UK will reconsider, and supplement the current budget to ensure that millions of beneficiaries world over are buffered from the foreseen challenges relating to HIV/AIDS.