Canada Announces Nearly $105 Million in New HIV/AIDS Funding for Programs Targeting Women
Canada will provide about $105 million in new funding for HIV/AIDS programs directed at women around the world, International Cooperation Minister Aileen Carroll announced on Wednesday to coincide with World AIDS Day, the CP/Canada.com reports (Branswell, CP/Canada.com, 12/2). The Canadian International Development Agency will allocate $67.4 million over four years to the United Nations Population Fund; $15 million over three years to the International Partnership for Microbicides; $10 million over four years to the UNICEF HIV/AIDS Prevention Project in Nigeria; $5 million over five years to CIDA's South Africa Rapid Response Fund to support gender equality and youth projects; $4.8 million over five years to CIDA's Nigeria AIDS Responsive Fund for gender equality and human rights HIV/AIDS programs; and $2.5 million over two years to CIDA's Small Grants Fund for HIV/AIDS projects focusing on gender equality, according to a CIDA release (CIDA release, 12/1). Of the $67.4 million for UNFPA, $58.4 million will go to work in the areas of sexual and reproductive health and HIV/AIDS among women and girls, and the remaining money will go to improving distribution of reproductive health supplies, such as condoms, Toronto's Globe and Mail reports.
Carroll, in a speech to mark World AIDS Day, said, "Gender inequality is fueling the spread of HIV/AIDS," adding, "This World AIDS Day, we are asked by every woman and girl in the world, 'Have you heard me today?' I am here to say that we have heard you, and we are acting" (Globe and Mail, 12/2). Marc-Andre LeBlanc, coordinator of the Microbicides Advocacy Group Network -- a Canadian coalition of more than 30 non-governmental organizations -- said that "with this outstanding show of support, Canada takes the global stage as a leader for women in their fight against HIV/AIDS." With the $15 million investment in IPM, the organization will be able to "screen potential drugs as microbicides and scale-up clinical testing to determine the most effective microbicide candidates," Mark Wainberg, director of the AIDS Center at McGill University, said (IPM release, 12/1).