Youth Stop AIDS says DFID’s recommitment to the Robert Carr Network Fund (RCNF) a ‘step in the right direction’, but has called for more investment from governments to reach those most adversely affected by HIV & AIDS.

The recommitment of £6million was made by DFID Minister Alistair Burt at an event during the International AIDS Conference, which continues in Amsterdam throughout the week. This pledge represents an increase of £1m compared to DFID’s previous contribution between 2015- 2018.

Youth Stop AIDS Coordinator, James Cole said:

“We are pleased to see DFID recommit to the Robert Carr Network Fund. However, we know that more investment is needed across the board if we are to reach people most adversely affected by HIV & AIDS. The presence of a DFID minister and a young HIV activist at the International AIDS Conference is a step in the right direction, and we will continue working with DFID to ensure we have the right resources to end AIDS by 2030.”

Increased pledges from DFID and other donors, including the Dutch and the US, will mean an overall increase in funding for RCNF of approximately 25%. The RCNF is currently able to fund half of the quality proposals it receives.

The announcement follows a concerted campaign by the Youth Stop AIDS campaign, who claim the possibility of ending AIDS by 2030 is under threat, following its desprioritisaton by governments and charities.  In the last nine months, Youth Stop AIDS campaigners have been campaigning for a DFID Minister to attend the International AIDS Conference; attend the conference with a young person on their delegation; and to pledge to double DFID’s contribution to the Robert Carr Network Fund.UK Youth

Delegate, Becky Kroger said:
I am proud to be the UK Youth Delegate and work with DFID here at AIDS 2018, I intend to be an active part of the ongoing communal learning and campaigning. I am incredibly touched and inspired by those here also passionate about the HIV & AIDS response, especially those young activists here at the conference who have come in such large numbers that we have never seen before.

In his speech announcing the contribution, Alistair Burt highlighted the importance of funding and political will in the global HIV response. He stated that the UK will continue to fund evidence based interventions and ensure the most marginalised are not left behind. He called on the international community to work together to end stigma and discrimination.

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