Anti-AIDS group faces funding shortfall

GENEVA (AP) -- The attempt to reverse the spread of AIDS in the developing world faces a multibillion-dollar funding shortfall over the next three years, the U.N. body coordinating the fight against the disease said Wednesday.
According to latest projections, only $8.9 billion is estimated to be available for 2006, compared with a requirement of $14.7 billion. For 2007, $17.8 billion will be needed, but only $10 billion is available, UNAIDS said.
The agency gave no shortfall projection for 2008, but said it would release a full report on estimated funding needs at the end of the month.
"AIDS poses an exceptional threat to humanity and the response needs to be equally exceptional, recognizing the urgency as well as the need for long-term planning and financing," said UNAIDS chief Dr. Peter Piot. "We have come a long way in mobilizing extra funds for AIDS, moving from millions to billions, but we still fall short of the $22 billion needed in 2008."
Overall more than $54 billion will be needed between 2006 and 2008 for prevention, treatment and care, as well as support for vulnerable children and other staffing and construction costs, according to UNAIDS.

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