The Federal Council decided today to allocate CHF 30 million to UNAIDS over the next three years (2013-2015), putting Switzerland among the eight largest donors to the UN organisation. UNAIDS works for global action against HIV/AIDS. Its mission is to strengthen and coordinate prevention and healthcare measures targeting people affected by the virus and to reduce the socio-economic impact of the epidemic.
In 2011, 34 million people worldwide were living with HIV, 2.5 million of whom were newly infected. Nearly 1.7 million people who had contracted the virus died. Some 40% of those newly infected were young people.
Great progress has been made in Sub-Saharan Africa, but the challenges in the fight against HIV/AIDS remain largely concentrated in this region, where one in twenty adults lives with HIV. In the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), HIV transmission among incarcerated persons and drug users is of particular concern.
Although considerable progress has been made since the first UN General Assembly Special Session on HIV/AIDS in 2001, much remains to be done. To overcome AIDS, we must strengthen political will, step up prevention, overcome the stigma associated with the virus and eliminate the discrimination experienced by sufferers. Not to invest today would mean undoing much of the progress of recent years.
Switzerland is an active contributor to global efforts in this area, in particular through its support for the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS). Switzerland considers this Geneva-based organisation to be the most important multilateral platform in the fight against HIV/AIDS, in particular when it comes to coordinated efforts within the UN. Switzerland will now contribute CHF 10 million per year (2013-2015) to UNAIDS and is among the organisation’s eight largest donors. Since 2006, the Swiss contribution had remained unchanged at CHF 5 million per year.
Switzerland is currently a member of the UNAIDS Programme Coordinating Board. Within this function, it seeks to place priority on prevention among young people and other high risk groups and on the elimination of mother-child transmission. Furthermore, Switzerland seeks to strengthen cooperation among UNAIDS’s other partners (UNHCR, UNICEF, WFP, WHO…) and with the Global Fund (GFATM).
SOURCE Schweizerische Eidgenossenschaft (SECO)/State Secretariat for Economic Affairs