May 31, 2010; Source: CBC News | The findings of Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) that rich countries have cut back on their HIV/AIDS donations to African nations appear to focus on donor governments. MSF reports, for example, that the budget of the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) has been frozen. Western governments were also reportedly pressuring the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria to cut back on its programs, one would guess because the donor nations are unlikely to maintain, much less increase funding commitments at the Global Fund’s upcoming October meetings.
MSF attributed the cutbacks to the global economic recession. With the recession seemingly far from recovery, it is hard to imagine that revenue-strapped donor-nations like the U.S., the U.K., Japan, and France will be increasing their funding commitments anytime soon. —Rick Cohen