NEWS from Gender Action
For Immediate Release: December 9, 2011
Contact: Elaine Zuckerman, President
World Bank Must Increase and Improve HIV Treatment
Looming Gap in Funding, Civil Society Warns
Washington, DC - At the close of the 16 Days of Activism/World AIDS Day Campaign, over one hundred groups and individuals joined Gender Action, the world's only organization solely dedicated to promoting gender equality in World Bank investments, to warn World Bank President Robert Zoellick that the World Bank needs to increase and improve its HIV treatment and prevention grant investments, and not provide further indebting loans.
Weeks after Secretary of State Hillary Clinton outlined an ambitious strategy to achieve an AIDS-free generation, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, which collaborates with bilateral and multilateral institutions, governments, civil society and the private sector, announced that it would cancel its next round of funding for HIV prevention because donors had not followed through on their pledged contributions.
In a letter to Zoellick today, 108 signatories pressured the World Bank to fill this critical funding gap and promote the elimination of health care user fees, which create financial barriers to HIV care for the poorest and most vulnerable populations.
"According to Gender Action's analysis of World Bank data, between 1997 and 2007 the World Bank committed a paltry 0.006 percent of its spending budget to HIV programming," said Elaine Zuckerman, President of Gender Action. "Despite the World Bank's rhetoric on significantly investing in curtailing HIV, the dollars never matched up."
"Over half of those affected lack access to treatment that can save their lives and prevent HIV transmission to others," Zuckerman continued. "The 34 million men, women and children who currently live with HIV and the thousands who contract it every day cannot afford to wait any longer for improved and expanded World Bank support."
See a copy of the letter here.
About Gender Action
Gender Action is the world's only organization dedicated to promoting gender justice in all International Financial Institution investments, such as those of the IMF, the World Bank and others.