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Friday, 4 January, 2002, 11:54 GMT
UN demands more Aids money
UN building in New York lit up with red Aids ribbon
Greg Barrow

A senior United Nations official responsible for monitoring the spread of HIV infection in Africa has urged the international community to increase funding for the fight against Aids.

A quite remarkable amount of money has been found since September 11th to respond to those events

Stephen Lewis
Stephen Lewis, the UN's special envoy for HIV and Aids in Africa, said that remarkable progress had been made in persuading the continent's leaders to take the problem seriously, and he praised the work of civil society and people living with AIDS.

But he said the international community has so far failed to come up with the necessary funds to capitalise on this.

Mr Lewis said the response to the attacks on America in September last year demonstrated that money is available, and he warned that Africa should not be forgotten.

"A quite remarkable amount of money has been found since 11 September to respond to those events," he said.

"It seems to many of us that significant amounts of money can therefore also be found to deal with the pandemic, which loses per day 6-8,000 lives."

HIV/Aids in Africa 2001
3.4m new infections
2.3m deaths
28m living with Aids
Life expectancy: 47 years
Without Aids: 62 years
44% of pregnant urban women in Botswana HIV+

The UN estimates that up to $10bn is required to fight Aids and HIV infection around the world - $5bn of that in Africa alone.

Stephen Lewis said that coming up with this money will be a test of faith on the part of the international community towards Africa.

He said that 2002 should be the year when Africa turns the tide against HIV - but resources will be essential if this is to happen.

See also:

19 Dec 01 | Africa
SA to fight Aids drug ruling
14 Dec 01 | Africa
SA ordered to provide Aids drugs
30 Jul 01 | Africa
Church rejects plea on condoms
09 Jun 01 | Africa
Funeral for child Aids icon
25 Jun 01 | Africa
Kenya accused over Aids orphans
22 Apr 01 | Africa
Kenya readies Aids drugs law
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