The German Government Tuesday, June 27 announced that it will double its funding to UNAIDS in 2017-2018, to €5 million per year.
“UNAIDS is an important partner for Germany’s health and development agenda, particularly in Africa. Increased investment in UNAIDS and the AIDS response will have a multiplier effect on the wider Sustainable Development Goal agenda,” highlighted Gerd Müller, Federal Minister of Economic Cooperation and Development, Germany.
Germany has prioritized health on the global development agenda and under its current Presidency of the Group of Twenty (G20) held the first ever G20 health ministers meeting in May 2017.
“Ending AIDS is a historic goal and I firmly believe we can reach it. We have to increase our joint efforts and UNAIDS is central to that work,” said Hermann Gröhe, Federal Minister of Health, Germany.
“With Germany, we have a common goal of ending AIDS and a shared commitment to strengthen health systems and improve the health and well-being of people across the world,” said Michel Sidibé, Executive Director of UNAIDS. “We warmly welcome Germany’s support and its recognition of the important role that UNAIDS plays in ending AIDS and in broader global health and development efforts.”
Germany made the announcement at the 40th Meeting of the UNAIDS Programme Coordinating Board, currently underway in Geneva, Switzerland from 27 to 29 June.
UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé also stressed the need to address the complex interconnected crises that are fragmenting societies by working across issues, mandates and organizations. He also called for the need to create a movement around the right to HIV prevention, similar to the existing movement for the right to HIV treatment.
Mr Sidibé requested the Board to stay vigilant and help to break the conspiracy of complacency, because, as he stressed, AIDS is not yet over.
During the opening ceremony, Lorena Castillo de Varela, the first lady of Panama and UNAIDS Special Ambassador for AIDS in Latin America delivered a passionate speech in favour of the zero discrimination agenda.
Ms Castillo, urged equal access to essential health and education services without fear of being harassed, mistreated or rejected.
“Discrimination is a serious violation of human rights. It is illegal, immoral and inhumane. We all deserve to live with dignity,” said Ms Castillo.
She also noted advances in protecting the rights of women and girls in Panama particularly making reference to the raise in the minimum age of marriage to 18 years.