Minister of State Lenihan re-affirms Ireland’s commitment in the global fight against HIV/AIDS
Minister of State for Development Cooperation and Human Rights, Conor Lenihan T.D., today re-affirmed that Ireland would continue to play its part in the global fight against HIV/AIDS. Speaking at a conference in London entitled 'Making the Money Work' the Minister said:
“The fight against the spread of HIV and AIDS is every bit as dramatic and important as what happened recently in South Asia. We know that every day over 8000 people are dying from AIDS and over 14,000 people are becoming infected with HIV. 95% of these people are from developing countries and over 50% are women. This is an emergency of epic proportions.”
“At today's meeting UNAIDS, the United Nations HIV/AIDS Programme, announced that it has estimated an additional $8 billion will be required to 2008 to fight the global HIV/AIDS pandemic. We all have a responsibility to contribute to meeting these needs.”
The Minister added “Ireland has, since 2001, allocated significant resources to the area of HIV/AIDS. Each year we now commit approximately €50 million to the global fight against HIV/AIDS as part of our official aid programme. This equates to approximately 10% of our overall aid budget. This is one of the highest proportions among European donor countries. Over the coming years HIV/AIDS will continue to be a priority and I am committed to sustaining this level of resource allocation from Ireland's official development assistance budget.”
The aim of the London conference was to focus international donors on the need to dramatically increase funding for HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment programmes and to ensure that these increased funds are used more effectively.