Foundation funding of AIDS stalls

PJ staff report

While U.S. and European foundations remain committed to providing HIV/AIDS-related funding, total giving for the disease has slipped slightly, a new study says.

AIDS-related funding from American and European foundations totaled $738 million in 2009, down about 2 percent from $738 million the year before, says a report from the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV.

But grants from funders based in Europe jumped last year, rising to $152 million from $91 million in 2008.

In the U.S., however, total foundation giving to AIDS-related projects fell 5 percent to $585 million in 2009, the first dip in grants since tracking began in 2005.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which accounts for 57 percent of the all U.S.-based foundation funding for AIDS, fell to $334 million in 2009, down from $378 in 2008.

Grants from all other U.S. funders combined grew 5 percent to reach $252 million last year.

“Investments in AIDS are starting to bear fruit as fewer people are becoming infected and with increased availability of treatment, fewer people are dying – evidence that AIDS is a smart and proven investment that will reduce costs in the long term,” Paul De Lay, deputy executive director of the Programme on HIV.

For both the U.S. and Europe, foundation funding for HIV/AIDS in 2009 was concentrated among a few large funders, with about 83 percent of funding awarded by 10 foundations.

And the majority of funding from both regions was directed to organizations and projects overseas, the study says.

Looking ahead to 2010, one-third of U.S. HIV/AIDS funders, including the Gates Foundation, expect to give less than in 2009, the study says, while 38 percent of European foundation expect to give more next year.

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