New investments needed to advance progress on AIDS, TB and malaria in Africa
New report shows that strong partnership between African and G8 governments has delivered impressive results but gaps remain in efforts to improve health across the continent
ADDIS ABABA, 25 May 2013—African and G8 governments have made significant progress against several major commitments to improve health in Africa over the past decade, but must commit to new investments for AIDS, tuberculosis (TB) and malaria.
The recommendations were published in the first-ever accountability report focused on health issues by the African Union (AU), the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS). The report, Delivering Results toward Ending AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria in Africa, was endorsed today by African Heads of State and Government at the 21st African Union Summit.
“This report is proof that the partnership between Africa and G8 is being translated into action. African countries are demonstrating meaningful successes through their leadership to fight against AIDS, TB and Malaria,” said H.E Hailemariam Desalegn, Prime Minister of Ethiopia, and Chairperson of the AU, “I commend our G8 Partners for living up to their commitment in providing financial support and I call upon G20, BRICS countries, and other global actors to join us and build up on the success of our partnership with G8 to end AIDS, TB and malaria in our continent."
The report’s findings show that some pledges, however, remain unfulfilled and calls for greater leadership, particularly in the areas of access to medicines, sustainable financing, human rights and gender equality.
“This first ever assessment of Africa-G8 commitments on AIDS, TB and Malaria will spur urgent action to address these challenges in a sustainable way,” said H.E. Macky Sall, Chairperson of NEPAD and President of Senegal. “I commend the collaborative efforts of the NEPAD Agency, the AU Commission and UNAIDS to deliver this flagship report.”
The report outlines that African countries have embraced transformative reforms that are producing results in the responses to AIDS, TB and malaria whilst at the same time strengthening health systems. It notes that although African governments have made important progress in increasing health financing, only six countries have fulfilled their commitment to devote 15% of government expenditures to health. For African governments overall, this percentage increased from 9% in 2001 to 11% in 2011.
The report also assessed progress in African governments’ health policies, noting, for example, that monitoring and evaluation of health programmes has improved significantly. However policy improvements remain uneven––while 90% of African Union Member States have programmes to reduce AIDS-related stigma and discrimination, many still have punitive laws that put marginalized populations at increased risk of HIV.
“Accountability is critical to the AU-G8 partnership,” said Dr. Ibrahim Mayaki, CEO of NEPAD. “This report marks a turning point in our joint efforts to combat AIDS, TB and malaria in Africa. It provides a unique insight into remaining gaps and where urgent action now needs to be taken by all partners”
According to the report, G8 countries have largely met their commitments to finance the response to AIDS, TB and malaria in Africa, including a pledge to provide $60 billion in health assistance from 2007-2012—which the report calls “a historic achievement, and one that has saved millions of lives.” In addition, the G8 has played a central role in launching and supporting the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria. As a result, more than 7 million people in Africa were receiving HIV treatment by the end of 2012, up from less than 300,000 in 2002.
However, international donor support for health has not increased in recent years, jeopardizing the sustainability of recent health gains. In addition the G8 fell far short of its goal of doubling aid to Africa between 2005 and 2010. The report also highlights the lack of significant new commitments by the G8 in recent years.
“Collective action and commitment has enabled Africa to make extraordinary strides against AIDS, TB, and malaria,” said UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé. “We have a unique opportunity now to significantly improve health across the continent if people are put at the centre of the responses, investments are scaled up, human rights are respected and stigma, discrimination and punitive laws are eliminated.”
The report outlines a series of actions needed from both African and G8 leaders to ensure that progress against AIDS, TB and malaria continues, despite the challenging economic environment facing many African and development partner countries. These actions are aligned with the African Union’s Roadmap on Shared Responsibility and Global Solidarity for AIDS, TB and Malaria Response in Africa.
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