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Uganda To Establish $1B HIV Trust Fund

“The government of Uganda is planning to establish a $1 billion HIV trust fund to finance local HIV programs,” IRIN reports. “According to a working paper released in September, ‘Justification for Increased and Sustainable Financing for HIV in Uganda,’ the fund will generate cash through levies on bank transactions and interest, air tickets, beer, soft drinks and cigarettes, as well as taxes on goods and services traded within Uganda,” the news service writes, adding, “Small fees will also be levied on civil servants’ salaries; corporate and withholding tax will be increased slightly; and a small tax will be added to telephone calls and to each kilowatt of electricity consumed.”

“The trust fund money is expected to go towards, among other things, condom distribution, safe male circumcision, PMTCT services, improving blood safety, and reducing sexually transmission infections,” IRIN continues, noting, “The plan will be shared with the Ministry of Finance, which will work out the logistics of imposing the various taxes, before being sent to parliament for debate and approval.” Noting “Uganda has suffered a severe funding crunch, limiting its ability to operate HIV programs, including those to expand safe male circumcision and prevent mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT),” the news service writes, “The country’s development partners have welcomed the move as a much-needed initiative to boost the country’s fight against HIV” (10/3).

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