In the Face of Uncertainty: Philanthropy’s Role in Funding HIV/AIDS Fight is More Critical than Ever
This post was originally published on GrantCraft.
Over the years, philanthropic resources have grown dramatically, becoming an integral component to the global response to HIV and AIDS. Although the increase in philanthropic funding is encouraging, there is still much effort needed to ensure we have the resources necessary to meet global health targets.
The landscape for HIV/AIDS funding, flatlining for years, is, as of November 8, 2016, more uncertain than ever. With this uncertainty comes the fear of rolling back or even halting progress. Early indications from the new U.S. administration hint that funding for global healthcare programs will not be a top priority. In fact, some may argue that these resources, including funding for HIV/AIDS, are under direct attack.
The new administration has, for instance, questioned the value of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEFPAR). Due to its strategic investments and long-standing bipartisan support, PEPFAR is regarded as one of the most successful programs in global health. Eliminating PEPFAR, the largest global funder of HIV and AIDS efforts, would significantly hinder, if not make impossible, the world’s goal of ending the epidemic as a public health threat by 2030. Furthermore, with the recent Executive Order to reinstate the “Global Gag Rule”—which restricts international organizations receiving U.S. funding from performing or promoting abortion services — PEPFAR and other successful programs will face inevitable funding cuts.
While the U.S. government is the largest, it is certainly not the only funder of the global fight against HIV and AIDS. Enormous partnership and collaboration efforts have been key components to the success experienced to date in beating back the epidemic. In addition to bilateral and multilateral organizations, as well as national governments, private philanthropy has played an important role. Though philanthropic funding comprises only 2 percent of global resources, its contributions are critical. These are often the only resources, for example, allocated to advocacy, the biggest lever to help mobilize the fight.
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