NO MEANINGLESS TARGETS ON HIV/AIDS, COMMITTEE TELLS G8 DONORS
The Commons International Development Committee will today, December 1 2005, World Aids Day, publish a report questioning the purpose of new G8 targets on HIV/AIDS, which they fear are already being undermined by a lack of willingness to track progress towards those targets.
The G8 summit last summer set an ambitious target to secure universal access to treatment for HIV/AIDS sufferers by 2010 but the Committee is concerned that there appears to be no willingness in DFID or the UN to track progress towards this target and ensure the commitment is delivered upon.
The Committee suggests that DFID could start by establishing a transparent monitoring system that would allow year-on-year tracking of who is getting what kind of HIV/AIDS treatment, and consider including a target on access to treatment in its next Public Service Agreement.
Failure to deliver on HIV/AIDS targets has the potential to undermine progress on at least 6 of the 8 Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
The Committee was also concerned about the potential for some of the UK’s partners to undermine progress towards the goals. The US’ recent focus on “abstinence” does not tally with an evidence-based approach to tackling the spread of the disease, and is a worrying development from the largest donor on HIV/AIDS. There are concerns that the TRIPS agreement, the World Trade Organisation pact that covers drug patents, may be compromising access to essential medicines in developing countries.
Similarly, donors need to work together to ensure sustainable and predictable funding for HIV/AIDS programmes, to counteract developing countries being dissuaded from investing in their public health infrastructure by IMF advice.
NOTES TO EDITORS:
Committee membership is as follows: Malcolm Bruce MP (Chairman), John Barrett MP, John Battle MP, Hugh Bayley MP, John Bercow MP, Richard Burden MP, Mr Quentin Davies MP Mr Jeremy Hunt MP, Ann McKechin MP, Joan Ruddock MP, Mr Marsha Singh MP
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