As the General Assembly readies itself for a high-level meeting on HIV/AIDS early next month, senior UN officials are warning that a funding shortfall could derail the global battle against the pandemic.
According to UNAIDS, international spending on various aspects the disease rose from US $2.1 billion in 2001 to $6.1 billion in 2004, but the shortfall in 2005 would be in the region of $6 billion, since funding is expected to remain stagnant or increase marginally.
Stephen Lewis, the UN special envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa, said the struggle for funds to save lives was "an obscenity and a mortifying international indignity", in view of the vast resources devoted to military expenditure by the world's richest countries.
Lewis told the Inter Press Service news agency: "We are only talking of relatively small sums of money - a maximum of about $20 billion by 2007 - to save several millions of lives. There is something dreadfully out of whack."
This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions
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