A desperate and largely unknown humanitarian crisis is deteriorating in the Lake Chad Basin region of West Africa, forcing millions of people to flee their homes and leaving millions more in need of humanitarian assistance. Oxfam is providing life-saving support but help is urgently needed to prevent the crisis turning into a catastrophe.
Governments which have failed to pay their contributions to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis are guilty of breaking their own promise to extend HIV treatment just months after they made it, Oxfam said today.
In a statement to mark World AIDS Day, Oxfam said the pledge made by governments in June to increase the number of people receiving HIV treatment to 15 million by 2015 would be worthless without additional resources. The Global Fund was last week forced to cancel its latest funding round because of a lack of money. resources.
Mohga Kamal-Yanni, Oxfam senior policy adviser, said: “The Global Fund barely has the money to pay for medicines and services for those already receiving life-saving treatment far less provide them for millions more who need it.
“If world leaders are serious about defeating HIV and about preventing countless unnecessary deaths they need to put their hands in their pockets and stump up the missing contributions.”
Italy, Germany, Japan, Spain and the European Union have all either delayed or cancelled payments to the fund.
Oxfam is also calling on pharmaceutical companies to join the HIV Medicine Patent Pool which requires them to share their patents to allow the production of cheaper and more effective treatments. Currently companies such as ViiV are dragging their feet from signing effective licenses with the pool.
Kamal-Yanni said: “There can be no excuse for big pharma putting patents ahead of patients. Companies guard their intellectual property rights at the expense of millions of people with HIV who are not getting the effective treatment they need.”
Notes to editors
Jon Slater, Oxfam Senior Press Officer: Economic crisis, aid, health and education
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