Global economic crisis direct threat to gains in AIDS response says UN

24 June 2009The global economic crisis that has forced cutbacks in Government spending also threatens efforts to mount an effective response to HIV and AIDS, according to the head of the United Nations agency coordinating the fight against the epidemic. “This crisis is a direct threat to progress in health and development and to our fragile gains in the AIDS response,” Michel Sidibé told the governing board of the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) yesterday.In a wide-ranging “>address to the board, his first as the agency’s Executive Director, Mr. Sidibé noted that almost $14 billion was spent on AIDS last year. While calling for full funding to reach universal access to comprehensive HIV prevention, treatment, care and support, he said the world can no longer afford to keep AIDS in isolation.“We must reposition UNAIDS in a crowded global health landscape. We must ensure that our future leaders stay focused on AIDS – not fatigued by it,” he stated.The challenge in the midst of the current crisis, said Mr. Sidibé, is not only how UNAIDS can do more with less, but how it can leverage existing resources and partnerships to produce more measurable results. Presenting his vision for future action at the agency, the Executive Director, who took up his post six months ago, committed UNAIDS to act on three fronts: to increase results and their impact, to optimize and expand partnerships, and to transform UNAIDS into a more efficient and effective organization.In this regard, he highlighted the new Outcome Framework, which commits UNAIDS to stand by people living with HIV and to enhance progress to ensure that people receive treatment. A key objective of the plan is to “break the trajectory of the epidemic” by putting the focus back on HIV prevention, which Mr. Sidibé said has been “systematically underinvested.”In a related development, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has appointed Dr. Paul De Lay and Ms. Jan Beagle as the Deputy Executive Directors of UNAIDS. Dr. De Lay will be responsible for overseeing the agency’s programmatic aspects and Ms. Beagle for management and external relations. read more

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The 9 at 9 Monday

first_imgEVERY MORNING brings you the nine stories you need to know a little before 9am.1. #TRUCE: The UN has called for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza to allow aid to get to civilians affected by the conflict in recent weeks.2. #LET’S TALK: The Seanad is to be recalled for a debate on the Israel-Gaza conflict as well as the escalating situation in Ukraine and Minister Charlie Flanagan is expected to speak during it.3. #JOBS: An investment by the government in an IT consultancy company will allow for the creation of 100 jobs in Ireland, Minister Richard Bruton has said.4. #EQUALITY: Research from the ESRI has found that income inequality narrowed during the recession as middle-income earners bore the brunt of tax increases, The Irish Times reports.5. #GARDAÍ: Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald will be under pressure today to release a report which examined her department’s handling of garda misconduct allegations and the conduct of secretary general Brian Purcell. She has had it for two weeks.6. #ROAD DEATH: A 50-year-old cyclist died yesterday evening after being struck by a car near Swords in Dublin.7. #SHOCKING: A 20-year-old man died after being struck by lightning in California and a number of other people nearby suffered effects of the strike, Associated Press reports.8. #WHAT’S THAT SMELL?: Residents at an estate in Donegal have been plagued by a rank sewage odour for years and it’s unlikely to be fixed any time soon.9. #SELL SELL SELL: Some €112 million worth of second hand stuff has been sold online so far this year – including a handmade vampire hunting kit, a working French guillotine and some Garth Brooks tickets.last_img read more

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