Global Fund turns down Burundi request

The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria rebuffed Burundi’s request for additional funding in support of the country’s AIDS program. “Donors’ failure to help Burundi fight against HIV/AIDS and bring support to patients is a simple genocide they will be held responsible for. We cannot accept that people keep dying for lack of medicines, while in other countries they are getting assistance,” criticized Burundi president Pierre Nkurunziza. The country is well short of the projected 2008 budget of USD28 million to combat the disease, and is still lacking USD83 million to cover expenses in its AIDS strategic plan from 2007 to 2011. “It is a death sentence to people living with HIV/AIDS, since those in need of antiretroviral drugs will have no other alternative to prolong their lives; but it is also a blow to prevention, exposing thousands of people to a death threat,” lamented HIV/AIDS activist Jeanne Gapiya. (Source: BURUNDI: HIV/AIDS programs dealt a severe blow/IRIN)

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