Financing vulnerabilities

07 June 2016

Olusegun Obasanjo, former President of Nigeria and Champion for an AIDS-Free Generation in Africa, chaired a discussion at a side event entitled “Financing vulnerabilities” held on the margins of the United Nations General Assembly High-Level Meeting on Ending AIDS, taking place in New York, United States of America, from 8 to 10 June.

Joining Mr Obasanjo for the discussion were Helen Clark, the Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme, Patrick Guillaumont, the President of the Foundation for International Development Study and Research, Dorcas Makgato, Minister of Health of Botswana, Javier Bellocq, from the International HIV/AIDS Alliance, Antonio Patriota, Ambassador of Brazil to the United Nations, and Philippe Meunier, the French Global AIDS Ambassador.

This panel, moderated by Luiz Loures, UNAIDS Deputy Executive Director, focused on financing vulnerabilities and explored mechanisms to ensure that fragile communities are at the centre of the global public health agenda. Ensuring that the health of fragile communities is secured, at a time when new epidemics and health issues threaten to further increase the vulnerability of low- and middle-income countries, was also discussed, and the panel explored the social and economic risks of the most vulnerable people.

It was noted that a majority of the world’s poor live in middle-income countries and that equity is essential in the determination of funding allocations. A strong call was made for new commitment and innovations to meet the needs of key populations, including sex workers, men who have sex with men, injecting drug users, transgender people and prisoners, and people living with HIV.

Mr Obasanjo recalled the beginnings of the establishment of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, as well as the establishment of the United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, at a time when very little funding was available. Today, Africa funds 55% of HIV treatment from domestic budgets. Mr Obasanjo emphasized the need for continued commitment to end the AIDS epidemic, both from domestic and international resources.


“I hope the United Nations General Assembly High-Level Meeting on Ending AIDS will result in an action plan for ending AIDS by 2030.”

Olusegun Obasanjo Former President of Nigeria, Champion for an AIDS-Free Generation in Africa

“We've made a lot of progress, but we need to institutionalize financing for civil society and key populations.”

Javier Bellocq International HIV/AIDS Alliance

“Addressing vulnerabilities must not be at the periphery of the AIDS response. It must be at the centre and it must be funded.”

Dorcas Makgato Minister of Health of Botswana

“The issues of women, girls and youth, including violence against women and intimate partner violence, are critical for the United Nations General Assembly High-Level Meeting on Ending AIDS.”

Antonio Patriota Ambassador of Brazil to the United Nations

“If we don't end stigma, discrimination and inequality, we won't end AIDS.”

Helen Clark Administrator, United Nations Development Programme

“We need a global approach when it comes to vulnerabilities.”

Patrick Guillaumont President, Foundation for International Development Study and Research

“We have to innovate when it comes to financing. We must finance vulnerable groups.”

Philippe Meunier French Global AIDS Ambassador

“If we are to end AIDS, people being left behind need to be placed at the centre of the response.”

Luiz Loures UNAIDS Deputy Executive Director