Dutch Financial Support for the members of the International HIV/AIDS Consortium the Netherlands!
The Netherland's well deserved and highly regarded reputation as a global leader in the response to HIV and AIDS is on the line. The Government's plan to end its support of eleven of the country's most successful organisations working in the sector will have appalling consequences for those most vulnerable to HIV and AIDS.
Please read the letter below and sign on your support calling on the Dutch Government to maintain its vital and meaningful financial backing of the Dutch International HIV/AIDS Consortium.
Your Excellency, dear Sir / Madam,
The Netherlands has a long and respected history of advocating for the human
rights of key populations and supporting civil society leadership in the
global response to HIV. Its work on HIV and AIDS is an international success
story for which the nation should be very proud. However, the termination of
funding to The Netherland's 11 most prominent international HIV-related
non-governmental organisations for the period 2011 to 2015 will have
enormous consequences for the global community and specifically for the
rights and livelihoods of those most vulnerable to HIV, many of whom
represent the most marginalised populations.
With this letter, we the undersigned, call upon you to release financial
support to the International HIV/AIDS Consortium The Netherlands.
We are deeply concerned that the Consortium was not accepted to the second
stage of the MFS-II [Dutch Co-financing System] round of funding by the
Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the period 2011–2015 for its
23-country programme. This means that the work carried out by Consortium
members in responding to the global HIV epidemic, which is so crucial to
many of the most vulnerable populations in lesser-developed countries, may
come to an end. Responding to HIV is an extremely effective way of achieving
the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which make up a significant portion
of development aid–related work. HIV affects individuals during their most
productive years, leaving them unable to remain within the work force and
resulting in dramatic social and economic consequences for societies in
general. Addressing HIV is directly linked with poverty alleviation and
cannot be separated from achieving universal human rights, in particular for
those populations marginalised and most vulnerable to HIV. For this reason,
effectively preventing and responding to HIV works to mitigate these
The Consortium members’ knowledge of and experience in working with
vulnerable groups in partnership with their in-country and international
partners is unique. It would be disastrous if their work was terminated,
precisely because governmental agencies often do not reach the most
vulnerable populations. In addition, the work of the Consortium members has
filled a gap since much of their efforts are concentrated in areas where
virtually no other financing for work with those most vulnerable to HIV is
available. This includes interventions amongst injecting drug users, men who
have sex with men, sex workers, youth and people living with HIV.
We, the undersigned, implore the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs to
finance the Consortium’s activities. The positive experiences we have had in
work with Consortium members is testament to how important their efforts are
for developing countries and for civil society participation in the global
response to HIV.
We, therefore, appeal to you in the interest of the global response to HIV.
As a result of the global financial crisis, support for effective strategies
such as those carried out by the International HV/AIDS Consortium The
Netherlands is now under serious threat. In the interest of people living
with HIV and those most vulnerable to HIV, we have an obligation to reverse
any decision that threatens the cessation of the Consortium’s combined work.