Last month, advocates in Nepal and Cambodia kept pressure on China with meetings and demonstrations to urge the economic superpower to contribute more to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. The latest appeal was part of AIDS Healthcare Foundation’s (AHF) “Fund the Fund” (FTF) campaign, which was launched in 2016 to prompt nations around the world to donate their fair share.
China has specifically been the focus of FTF since it has given little compared to its global peers in the fight against HIV/AIDS. AHF Cambodia and partners convened in Phnom Penh and included a group of over 60 representatives.
“The press meeting and conferences were fruitful in bringing the community together and creating solidarity,” said AHF Cambodia Country Program Manager Dr. Srey Vanthuon. “AHF and our partners will continue to advocate that China give $1 billion so the Global Fund can continue to save millions of lives in countries that need the most help.”
If efforts to combat HIV/AIDS are not intensified soon, the epidemic could result in 21 million deaths and potentially 28 million new HIV infections by 2030, according to UNAIDS estimates. In addition to the impact on human life, the pandemic will continue to be an economic hardship for many countries if the overall spending for antiretroviral therapy drugs is not increased.
AHF Nepal and partners also held demonstrations near the Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu to urge for more action on China’s part.
“China only pledged $18 million to the Fund, when countries with smaller economies like Germany and Japan gave closer to $1 billion,” said AHF Nepal Country Program Manager Deepak Dhungel. “We have proven that treatment as prevention works in stopping HIV/AIDS and why it’s so important that China give its fair share to the Global Fund.”
AHF has been active in Cambodia since 2005 and in Nepal since 2009. There are 33,085 and 6,211 patients in care in Cambodia and Nepal, respectively.