The crisis of the international financial system and the consequences for the fight against AIDS

An experience of the Catholic Church in South Africa

Sr Alison Munro, OP

Director, Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference (SACBC ) AIDS Office, Pretoria, South Africa[1]

  1. 1.     Introduction

The SACBC AIDS Office has experienced changing patterns of donor funding over its twelve year existence, and has like other non- governmental and faith-based organizations continually to seek funding from new  sources  to support the AIDS work of the Catholic Church in Southern Africa. Even before the unfolding of the international financial crisis, development programmes had experienced a  decrease in donor funding .  In the past this was often attributed to factors such as re-prioritizing of donor target countries,  less support by governments to the international non- governmental and faith-based organisations supporting work in developing countries, “donor fatigue”, and a donor unwillingness to continue for the long haul given the often poor return on investment. [2]The decline in funding has been exacerbated by critical financial developments in the international arena, and is likely to continue.  Funding through the Global Fund and the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the two major donor organisations addressing AIDS is to decrease.

This paper looks broadly at the treatment programme of the SACBC AIDS Office, and the impact of decreased funding on it. Download Here

[1] An earlier version of this paper was presented at a side event of the United Nations General Assembly on AIDS in New York, June 2011.

[2] South Africa is viewed as a middle income country, and therefore “expected” to be more self-sufficient.