Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations
UNAIDS Denies Endorsement of Proposal To Suspend Funding to NGOs, Says Reuters Misquoted Officials
UNAIDS Country Coordinator for Namibia Salvator Niyonzima on Tuesday said that a Reuters article published on Saturday that stated UNAIDS had agreed to suspend funding for nongovernmental organizations in certain African countries was incorrect and that the United Nations regards NGOs as "indispensable partners in the fight against HIV/AIDS," the Namibian/AllAfrica.com reports (Maletsky, Namibian/AllAfrica.com, 3/10). Reuters reported that U.N. officials had endorsed a proposal from Zambia and Zimbabwe that would prevent funding from going directly to NGOs in some African countries. Reuters quoted Koichiro Matsuura, director general of the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization -- which is the current chair of UNAIDS -- as saying, "AIDS money will no longer be given to NGOs. ... This is what the countries have proposed and it has been endorsed." In the story, Reuters also quoted Matsuura as saying that AIDS funding instead would be channeled through each government's central AIDS authority (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 3/9). However, UNESCO has issued a statement saying that Matsuura was misquoted and that "the views attributed to him in the story in no way reflect either his or his organization's position." The statement added, "NGOs remain the cornerstone of the AIDS response in countries and their role is becoming increasingly important as they shoulder the burden of preventing, caring and providing treatment to people living with HIV and AIDS" (UNESCO statement, 3/11).
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