Swazi, South African Activists March To U.S. Consulate In Johannesburg To Call For Emergency Global Fund Meeting

“Almost a thousand Swazi and South African HIV activists marched to the United States consulate in Johannesburg on [Thursday] to demand that the U.S. continue supporting the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis (TB) and Malaria, and safeguard funding of its President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR),” PlusNews reports. “The march organizers — a coalition of international and regional HIV organizations, including the global medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), the World AIDS Campaign, and the AIDS Rights Alliance Southern Africa — also called on the British and Australian governments to join their American counterparts in kick-starting a response to solve the Global Fund’s financial crisis,” according to the news service.

“Without an emergency donor meeting, the Fund — already in need of at least $2 billion — will only secure additional funding at its next scheduled replenishment in 2014,” PlusNews writes, noting, “Representatives from MSF, Section27 and the South African AIDS lobby group Treatment Action Campaign, were to meet with consular and PEPFAR representatives to discuss their concerns.” The news service highlights a new MSF report, titled “Losing Ground,” (.pdf) which, “[i]n addition to an emergency Global Fund donor meeting and replenishment, … recommends that countries adopt innovative funding mechanisms like financial transaction taxes to support HIV care and treatment” (3/23).