Donor government funding to support HIV efforts in low- and middle-income countries decreased by US$511 million from US$7.5 billion in 2015 to US$7 billion in 2016, finds a new report from the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS). This marks the second successive year of declines, and is the lowest level since 2010.
The decrease stems from actual cuts in funding (accounting for an approximate net 50% of the decline), exchange rate fluctuations (20%), and the timing of U.S. contributions to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (30%), due to U.S. law that limits its funding to one-third of total contributions to the Global Fund.
In 2016, bilateral funding decreased by slightly more than US$100 million, falling for nine of 14 donors profiled (seven of which declined in currency of origin). Multilateral contributions fell by US$400 million. As noted above, some of this was due to U.S. legislative limitations on Global Fund contributions. However, some was due to donor decisions to front-load their funding early in the 2014-2016 Global Fund pledge period.
“AIDS investments provide exceptional value for money. We have wisely invested in providing life-saving HIV treatment and prevention services for millions of people and are seeing the results of those investments today,” said Michel Sidibé, UNAIDS Executive Director. “Declining international resources will hamper our ability to reach the 17 million people who still need treatment.”
“Donor government funding for HIV continues to be on the decline,” said Kaiser Family Foundation Vice President Jen Kates, Director of Global Health and HIV Policy. “Recent proposed cuts from the U.S., amidst other competing demands on donor budgets, will likely contribute to an ongoing climate of uncertainty around funding for HIV going forward.”
The U.S. continued to be the largest donor to HIV efforts, providing US$4.9 billion in 2016, followed by the U.K., France, the Netherlands, and Germany. When standardized by size of its economy, however, the U.S. ranked third.
The new report, produced as a partnership between the Kaiser Family Foundation and UNAIDS, provides the latest data available on donor government funding based on data provided by governments. It includes their bilateral assistance to low- and middle-income countries and contributions to the Global Fund as well as UNITAID. “Donor government funding” refers to disbursements, or payments, made by donors. Donor contributions to multilateral organizations are counted as part of their disbursements.