HIV/AIDS Has Left 9M Children in Africa Without Mothers; Donor Countries Should Increase Funding for Children, Group Says
The HIV/AIDS pandemic has left nine million children in Africa motherless, British HIV/AIDS advocacy group Save the Children said on Monday in a report, adding that donor countries need to increase funding significantly to address the situation, Reuters reports. "The AIDS pandemic robs millions of children of their childhoods, as well as their mothers," Save the Children CEO Jasmine Whitbread said in a statement. "In sub-Saharan Africa alone, more than 12 million children under the age of 15 have lost one or both parents to AIDS[-related complications]. By 2010, at current rates of HIV infection, this number is likely to increase to 18 million," the group said. The group has appealed to the Group of Eight wealthy nations, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, the World Bank and the European Commission to focus their efforts on children who have lost parents to AIDS-related complications and those whose parents are living with the disease. "Donors must spend 12% of their AIDS funding on proper support for children," which would amount to $6.4 billion over three years, the group said. If Britain, the United States and Ireland meet their HIV/AIDS funding pledges in 2006, there would be $412 million committed for children, or about one-quarter of the $2.1 billion needed per year, according to Reuters. "This is best case scenario and it's not yet clear whether all of the donors will meet their commitments," an unnamed Save the Children spokesperson said (Esipisu, Reuters, 3/20).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.