Group calls on China, Nigeria to raise contributions to HIV, Tuberculosis funding

L-R Walter Ugwuocha, Executive Secretary of Civil Society for HIV/AIDS in Nigeria, Mrs Oluwakemi Gbadamosi and Maureen Onyia - Ekwuazi, head occupational health and safety NLC

A civil society organization involved in HIV/AIDS prevention activities in Nigeria has urged the Chinese government to scale up its commitment to Global Fund by pledging one billion dollars to the fund.

Global Fund is an international financing organization that aims to attract and disburse additional resources to prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.

The group, Civil Society for HIV/AIDS in Nigeria, CISHAN, also urged the Nigerian government to increase domestic funding on HIV response by at least 50 per cent.

Speaking at a press briefing on Thursday in Abuja, spokesperson of the group, Oluwakemi Gbadamosi, said though China has pledged $18million to Global Fund, the country should substantially increase its commitment to the fund.

“We are heartened by the continued support of the international donor community towards the mission of the Global Fund,” she said.

“With $12.9billion raised, the fifth replenishment demonstrated that the overall commitment to curbing the three epidemics remains a high priority for the world”.

She however lamented that not all countries were contributing their fair share to the effort, pointing out China as one of those countries that could do more.

“China is in the second place among the world’s five largest economies, and has so far pledged only $18 million to the Global Fund.

“By comparison, the United Kingdom is the fifth largest economy and has pledged $171 million, while Japan which is the 3rd largest economy, pledged $800 million.

“As a group, we call on the Chinese government to increase its contribution, as it would offer a greater level of involvement and stature in addressing global public health issues”.

She stressed that the right thing for China to do was to pledge one billion dollars to Global Fund.

Mrs. Gbadamosi also charged the Nigerian government to toe the path of South Africa by taking ownership of its HIV/AIDS response, stating that over dependency on foreign donors has lasted longer than is acceptable.

In his speech, the Executive Secretary of CISHAN, Walter Ugwuocha, urged the Nigerian government to increase its domestic funding by at least 50 per cent.

This he said, will help the country measure up to what international donors are contributing.

He also called on the state and local governments to increase their allocations for HIV/AIDS activities in Nigeria.

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