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Irish Aid to invest a further €1m in UNAIDS

The Minister for Overseas Development Aid and the Diaspora, Colm Brophy T.D., has announced €1 million in additional funding to UNAIDS. This brings Irish Aid’s total funding to UNAIDS for 2021 to €3.4 million.

Speaking at the Annual Father Michael Kelly World AIDS Day lecture today, Minister Brophy said:

“Someone dies from AIDS every 60 seconds, but each of these deaths is avoidable. The fight against COVID-19 has seen a renewed focus on strengthening health systems, combatting sigma and tacking misinformation. We must ensure that these efforts help us reach the goal of ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030.

Ireland’s commitment to ending HIV and AIDS is rooted in our understanding of the relationship between poverty and poor health. We must tear down barriers that prevent people accessing HIV prevention services. This additional funding will help UNAIDS continue to provide vital services, as well as their vital work to fight stigma and discrimination.

“I am particularly pleased to make this announcement at the Fr. Michael Kelly Lecture. Fr. Kelly passed away earlier this year having made an extraordinary contribution to the battle against HIV and AIDS. He leaves a tremendous legacy and we are delighted to continue to celebrate that through the annual lecture.”

The global community has made great strides in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Antiretroviral medicines are now available to over 27.5 million people living with HIV. AIDS-related deaths have reduced by more than half since 2004 when they were at their peak.  Nonetheless, further strides must shift gears be made if we are to end AIDS by 2030, as agreed in the Sustainable Development Goals. Today’s additional contribution to UNAIDS is to assist this effort.

Framed within our policy on international development, A Better World, Ireland’s focus on global health and HIV and AIDS is on the prevention of infectious diseases, support for health systems strengthening, the improvement of maternal and child health, and improving access to sexual and reproductive health and rights.

ENDS

Press Office

3 December 2021

  • Ireland is a long-standing core contributor to the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS). UNAIDS provides global leadership in response to the epidemic, promotes global consensus on policy and programmatic approaches to ending AIDS, and supports national Governments to develop comprehensive national strategies and implement effective HIV/AIDS activities at the country level.
  • Over the last 10 years, Ireland has donated over €27 million to UNAIDS in core funding. Ireland has also provided bilateral funding to UNAIDS to support specific projects in Irish Aid programme countries such as Tanzania and Uganda.
  • This year was the sixteenth Annual Father Michael Kelly Worlds AIDS Day lectures, the first since Fr. Michael died last January. The Department of Foreign Affairs initiated the lecture series in 2006 to honour Fr. Michael’s work on education and HIV. The annual event helps ensure that addressing HIV remains high on the agenda globally, and specifically in Ireland.  It brings together the community of people living and working in Ireland who are committed to contributing to the response to HIV and AIDS. This year’s event focused on the theme of ‘ending stigma and discrimination’ and included a range of speakers; Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director of UNAIDS and Under Secretary General of the United Nations; Professor Sheila Tlou, Co-Chair of the Global HIV Prevention Coalition; Dr Ailbhe Smyth, Irish Writer, Academic and Activist; and Liz Martin, HIV Activist.

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