Ireland and UNAIDS sign new agreement on AIDS
Conor Lenihan TD, Minister of State for Irish Aid, today signed a new €30 million, five year partnership with the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS). UN Under-Secretary and Executive Director of UNAIDS, Dr Peter Piot, was in Dublin to sign the agreement.
Under the partnership, Irish Aid will provide a minimum of €30 million over five years to prevent, treat and care for those infected and affected by AIDS. Speaking at the signing of the agreement Minister Lenihan said:
“Ireland holds UNAIDS in high regard. Without the crucial leadership of Dr Peter Piot the global response to AIDS would not be where it is today. Since UNAIDS’ inception in 1996, the volume of resources available annually for the response to AIDS has increased 28-fold, from US$ 300 million to US$ 8.9 billion in 2006.
Dr Piot has challenged world leaders to view AIDS within the realms of poverty reduction as well as security. His leadership has helped to deliver better coordination in developing countries, a trustworthy system of evaluation and a single minded focus by all on results.”
Speaking following the signing of the agreement, Dr Piot said:
"Ireland is a valued and longstanding UNAIDS partner—today’s agreement confirms its position as one of the leaders in the global response to AIDS. The multi-year agreement makes special provision to support technical assistance that is much needed to “make the money work” for the people who need it most,” he said.
Dr Piot took the opportunity to commend Ireland on its leadership on tackling HIV-related stigma and discrimination through its recently launched “Stamp out Stigma” Campaign. Taoiseach Bertie Ahern TD, who launched the Campaign, was the only European Prime Minister to attend both the 2001 and the 2006 High Level Meetings on AIDS.
Note to editors:
With almost 40 million people living with HIV in the world – 18 million of whom are women and 15 million of whom are children - Ireland has made the fight against AIDS a core priority of its overall development effort. It has significantly increased its financial commitment to AIDS. Every year €100 million, or 10% of the total overseas development budget, is spent by Irish Aid on AIDS initiatives.
This five year agreement will focus on the countries most affected by AIDS, including those countries with which Ireland has a current partnership – Lesotho, Mozambique, Zambia, South Africa,
Ireland has worked with UNAIDS since 2001. Since becoming Executive Director of UNAIDS in 1996, Dr Piot has ensured that the common agenda for the fight against AIDS is a key ongoing priority of the UN system.
30 January 2007