Western countries pledge to streamline AIDS efforts
Officials from the United States and other Western nations on Sunday agreed to streamline measures for establishing and funding AIDS programs in developing nations so that donations can be spent more effectively, The New York Times reports. The officials, who met while in Washington, D.C., for the annual meeting of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, said AIDS programs that have been developed by donors and other nongovernmental organizations overseas sometimes overlap services with other groups, causing competing demand for limited financial resources. Some countries also are diverting health care workers from providing AIDS services to meeting the clerical and accounting needs that come with international funding, said Robin Gorna of a U.K. AIDS service organization.
Donor nations and developing countries agreed at the meeting to adopt three principles, called the Three Ones, to help streamline funding of AIDS programs in poor nations: developing a framework to coordinate the work of donor countries and those receiving AIDS grants, implementing a national AIDS authority in each developing country to coordinate AIDS efforts, and establishing country-level systems to evaluate that nation's AIDS programs. The Washington meeting was attended by representatives from the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden, all of whom signed the statement of principles.
"What is really new is this is an agreement between the people who have the money saying that they will leave their flags and affiliations at the door and make sure the resources are spent wisely," said Peter Piot, executive director of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS. "AIDS is an emergency that requires urgent action and a new way of doing business."