Irish Aid’s HIV/AIDS programme showcased at British Labour Party Conference
Conor Lenihan TD, Minister of State for Development Cooperation and Human Rights, will today address a meeting of British HIV/AIDS NGOs and government representatives on the side of the British Labour Party Conference, in Manchester.
The meeting, organised by the 'Stop AIDS' Campaign, is designed to improve communication between governments and civil society regarding progress towards the 2010 Universal Access treatment target. As well as addressing the issue of treatment, Minister Lenihan will highlight Ireland's focus on HIV prevention and the targeting of assistance at particularly vulnerable groups, including women and children.
Speaking ahead of the meeting, Minister Lenihan said:
“This party conference is an important stage on which to showcase the progress of the Irish Aid HIV/AIDS programme. As outlined in the recent White Paper on Irish Aid, we have made the fight against HIV/AIDS a key priority in our development aid programme. It now accounts for over 10% of our aid budget. In a recent survey of international programmes, The Global Fund to Fight AIDS gave the Irish response the highest possible ranking available.
A feature of our HIV/AIDS strategy is close partnership with the Clinton Foundation. We have been working with the Foundation since 2003, providing support for integrated prevention, treatment and care programmes. On Friday, I look forward to joining the Taoiseach in meeting Bill Clinton to review cooperation to date and examine how we might expand our engagement with the Foundation.”
Note to editors:
The Stop AIDS Campaign is a coalition of over 80 international development and national AIDS Service Organisations. The meeting will also be addressed by the British Under-Secretary of State for International Development, Gareth Thomas MP.
The recently published White Paper on Irish Aid includes a commitment by the Government to spend a minimum of €100 million per year on the fight against HIV/AIDS and other communicable diseases. This represents over 10% of our current total development budget. In 2005, there were an estimated 4.1 million new infections worldwide. Today more than 38 million are living with the virus. In the developing world, 95% of children are not receiving the treatment they need and only 10% of pregnant women have access to the services to prevent HIV transmission to their unborn child. 15 million children worldwide have been orphaned by AIDS.
ENDS +++ 26 September 2006, Press Office