AU hosts high-level panel on ending AIDS by 2030

–  Urges increased domestic financing for health to end AIDS by 2030

The African Union on Thursday renewed the call to increase domestic financing to end AIDS by 2030 during a high-level panel organised during the 21st International AIDS Conference.

“Let us front-load investments in the AIDS response to super fast track the end of AIDS by 2030”, said Dr. David Parirenyatwa, the Minister of Health and Child Care of the Republic of Zimbabwe, “we cannot win this battle if we do not sustain our current efforts in prevention that will close the tap of new infections and mean fewer people requiring treatment” he added.

While remarkable progress has been achieved African countries will need to increase the resources to AIDS to a projected US$12.2 billion by 2020. This is expected to gradually decrease to US$10.8 billion by 2030 if the fast-track targets are to be met. This amount will be required to meet Africa’s Roadmap to end AIDS by 2030 that set bold targets to reduce AIDS-related deaths to less than 375,000 per year by 2020, and less than 150,000 per year by 2030. In addition, the targets seek to reduce new HIV infections to less than 375,000 per year by 2020, and less than 150,000 per year by 2030 and end HIV-related Discrimination by 2020.

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Africa generates more than $520 billion annually through domestic resource mobilisation, which is more than 8.5 times the amount the continent receives in Official Development Assistance (ODA). However, most African governments have not been able to consistently meet their 2001 Abuja commitment to spend 15% or more of their domestic budgets on health programmes. In 2013, only 6 of the 46 countries in Africa south of the Sahara met this target. Between 2012 and 2013, 10 countries saw an increase in the proportion of their budgets going to health, while 26 countries saw no change and 10 countries saw a decrease.

Comparison against the Abuja 15% target, however, hides the fact that domestic health financing is the primary source of funding. African countries spend on average 20 times more from their own resources than they receive from ODA. Over the previous decade, domestic investment in health grew almost 50% faster than ODA.

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“Health funding in most African countries is inadequate to build resilient and strengthened health systems. Making a transformational difference in the lives of the millions of people affected by AIDS in African countries requires significantly bigger domestic investments in health from both private and public sources”, said Dr. Mustapha Sidiki Kaloko, the Commissioner for Social Affairs of the African Union Commission. During the meeting the African Union Commission took the opportunity to show case the Africa Scorecard on Domestic Financing for Health. Recently adopted by the Heads of State on 17 July 2016 in Kigali, the Scorecard will help in promoting accountability, financial planning, performance monitoring and accountability by players at various levels.

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