Press release

New reports show philanthropic funding for AIDS down at pivotal moment in the response

Donors urged not to shift resources away from AIDS as response shows return on investments

Washington, D.C., London, Geneva, 10 November 2011 – New reports released today shows that AIDS-related funding from United States and European philanthropic donors totaled US$ 612 million in 2010, a combined 7% decrease (US$ 44 million) from 2009. The reports, produced by the European HIV/AIDS Funders Group (EFG) and Funders Concerned About AIDS (FCAA), with support from the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), also show that the number of donors giving more than US$ 300,000 to HIV has reduced by 30% over the last three years. 

“The global response to AIDS, now in its 30th year, has demonstrated the power of political commitment and financing,” said John Barnes, Executive Director, FCAA. “Profound successes have been achieved – such as more than 6 million people on lifesaving treatment. Commitment and resources must rise now to meet existing needs and take advantage of new opportunities so that we do not experience another 30 years of AIDS.”

Funding from donor governments also decreased in 2010 after sharp increases in funding at the beginning of the decade. There is estimated to be, at a minimum, a US$ 6 billion annual gap between investment needs and available resources.

UNAIDS has developed an investment framework which shows that 12.2 million new HIV infections and 7.4 million HIV-related deaths could be averted between 2011 and 2020 if funding is scaled up to US$ 24 billion by 2015.

“Investing strategically today will not only save lives, it will also ultimately result in significant cost savings in the future,” said Paul De Lay, Deputy Executive Director, Programme, UNAIDS. “We have an opportunity to make a real impact but it will require a concerted effort from all sectors including philanthropic donors who play an important role in reaching people most affected by the epidemic.”

The total disbursed by US-based philanthropies reduced from US$ 492 million in 2009 to US$ 459 million in 2010. The key driver of the decrease was a decline in funding from the largest private AIDS funder, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which represents 47% of all HIV philanthropic funding from US funders. This decrease, however, is largely due to the multi-year nature of their commitments and the Foundation forecasts an increase in 2011 disbursements.

Disbursements from all US funders other than the Gates Foundation decreased by 2% from 2009 to 2010 primarily due to a trend of funders exiting the field of HIV-specific funding and moving into areas such as sexual and reproductive health and health systems strengthening.

Funding from European-based philanthropies also decreased by 6%, from US$ 163 million in 2009 to US$ 153 million in 2010.

UNAIDS, FCAA and EFG emphasize that philanthropy has a catalytic role to play in the response to HIV through its commitment to address key focus areas, such as advocacy, that are not often covered by other sources of funding.

“Private philanthropic donors need to reprioritize and support strategically smarter, more efficient interventions that target the needs of communities most impacted by the epidemic,” said Kate Harrison, Portfolio Manager, Comic Relief UK, and EFG Steering Committee member.

Projections for 2011 suggest that total AIDS-related philanthropy funding levels may increase in both the US and Europe. Over a quarter of US funders forecast anticipated increases in 2011, including the top funder, the Gates Foundation. Over a third of European funders, including five of the top 10 funders, forecasted funding to HIV increasing in 2011.

“Even if the 2010 decrease in philanthropic funding for HIV is just a blip, every dollar lost enables new HIV infections, costs lives, can contribute to human rights violations, and stalls progress in the global AIDS response,” said Mr Barnes. “To seize the opportunities now clearly in front of us to end this epidemic, it is critical that we continue to mobilize increased and strategic funding for AIDS.”

The FCAA and EFG annual resource tracking reports intend to inform stakeholders about the overall distribution and trends of US and European AIDS philanthropic funding, facilitate greater coordination and transparency among funders, and encourage expanded philanthropic support for HIV work.

To download the complete reports:

About EFG

The European HIV/AIDS Funders Group (EFG) is a knowledge-based network dedicated to strengthening European philanthropy in the field of HIV/AIDS. The group aims to mobilise philanthropic leadership and resources to address the global HIV/AIDS pandemic and its social and economic consequences and to promote an enabling environment for strategic and independent giving in this field as well as fields closely connected to HIV/AIDS such human rights, global health, and global development. 

About FCAA 

Funders Concerned About AIDS (FCAA) was founded in 1987 with the goal of mobilizing the philanthropic leadership, ideas and resources of U.S.-based funders to eradicate the HIV/AIDS pandemic –domestically and internationally– and to address its social and economic consequences. FCAA is the only U.S.-based organization comprised of and for private philanthropic institutions concerned about, engaged in, or potentially active in the fight against HIV/AIDS.


UNAIDS, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, is an innovative United Nations partnership that leads and inspires the world in achieving universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support. Learn more at


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