[Ip-health] UNITAID Approves Grants of Over $140 million - Continues Support for 100, 000 Children on HIV Treatment and Makes New Investments to Stabilize Paediatric HIV Market

COURTNEY, Clare courtneyc at unitaid.who.int
Mon Dec 16 02:55:29 PST 2013

UNITAID Approves Grants of Over $140 million
Continues Support for 100,000 Children on HIV Treatment
and Makes New Investments to Stabilize Paediatric HIV Market

Geneva - UNITAID's Executive Board has approved over $140 million in new funding.  The organisation remains committed to children living with HIV/AIDS and will continue funding treatment for almost 100,000 children in Malawi, Mozambique and Uganda. Additional investments have been targeted to further stabilize the paediatric HIV treatment market.  UNITAID will also continue funding for existing projects to shape markets for HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis.

Funding of $30 million is provided for Malawi, Mozambique and Uganda for paediatric HIV treatment until 2015 and $12.6 million has been allocated to ensure better coordination for the paediatric HIV medicines market.

"More investment in paediatric HIV treatment is still needed, despite our huge success in creating incentives for companies to develop treatment for children living with HIV in low-income countries," said Dr Philippe Douste-Blazy, Chairman of the UNITAID Executive Board.  "Until the day when no child is born with HIV, UNITAID will remain committed to the right of children living with the virus to lead healthy, normal lives."

One of UNITAID's initial investments in 2006 was to develop paediatric HIV treatments for low-income countries.  Now that price reductions of 80% have been achieved for child-friendly formulations, 37 countries previously supported by UNITAID have managed to successfully finance their own paediatric HIV programmes from other sources.

"The UNITAID commitments made today to Malawi, Mozambique and Uganda will enable these countries to have their funding transitioned to other sources in 2015," said Dr Denis Broun, Executive Director of UNITAID.

Finally, UNITAID has approved a $50 million extension to the World Health Organization (WHO) Prequalification Programme for Medicines and Diagnostics, an essential service that guarantees quality drugs for low-income countries and opens their markets to low-cost generic producers.

- ends -

UNITAID is a global health initiative launched in 2006 by the governments of Brazil, Chile, France, Norway and the United Kingdom to provide sustainable funding for market shaping approaches to fight against HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis. About 70% of UNITAID's funds come from a small levy on airline tickets and the rest from multi-year traditional donations. Through implementers, UNITAID uses its market shaping approach to expand supply, promote development of new and better products, cut delivery lead times and reduce prices.

Note to Editors:
The new UNITAID funding commitments also include:

-          $35 million to the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) and UNICEF to continue scaling up access to innovative point-of-care diagnostic technology that can help enable HIV care at the community level.  This includes CD4 technology to measure immune system strength, viral load testing to monitor the effectiveness of patients' treatment, and early infant diagnostics for babies born to women living with HIV.  This is the second part of UNITAID's grant to the two organisations. Further funding for the project is expected at a later stage.

-          $14.9 million to the Stop TB Partnership's Global Drug Facility to expand the Strategic Rotating Stockpile (SRS) for multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) medicines to help halt the spread of MDR-TB by guaranteeing supply and improving delivery times.  This support will be linked to the Global Fund Rapid Response Mechanism and will help transition SRS to longer term funding sources.

Clare COURTNEY | Communications Manager | UNITAID
Tel. +41 22 791 4581 | Cell. +41 79 445 2280 | courtneyc at unitaid.who.int
web: www.unitaid.org | Facebook<http://www.facebook.com/unitaidofficial> | Twitter<http://twitter.com/UNITAID> | Flickr<http://www.flickr.com/photos/53363253@N02/sets/> | Youtube<http://www.youtube.com/unitaid>

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