Dispatches from the fight against homelessness and AIDS
Posted by Rebecca Edmondson , January 15, 2014
Image from The World Bank Live
World Bank President Jim Yong Kim and UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé hosted a meeting entitled Social Drivers to End AIDS and Extreme Poverty, held January 9-10, 2014, at the World Bank Headquarters in Washington, DC. The two-day meeting signaled a major breakthrough in strategy that places action on social and structural drivers at the heart of both the global AIDS response and efforts to address extreme poverty and income inequalities. In the opening session of the meeting, which can be viewed here, Dr. Kim reiterated the World Bank’s commitment to end extreme poverty by 2030 and Michel Sidibé called for an end to the AIDS epidemic by 2030. The meeting brought together 70 participants from around the globe to weave together these two critical goals with concrete social and structural interventions to address the inequities and marginalization that drive both poverty and disease.
Housing Works co-sponsored this event with the U.S. National AIDS Housing Coalition, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, the International AIDS Society, the World Bank, and UNAIDS, and meeting costs were underwritten by grants from the Ford Foundation and the MAC AIDS Fund.
Among the key products will be a joint communiqué between the World Bank, UNAIDS, and possibly other key multilateral agencies and bilateral donors, as well as a report with key recommendations. The first draft of the report will be ready within three weeks so that it can be incorporated into the materials being considered by UNAIDS and Lancet Commission on AIDS and Health. It will be finalized by mid-March and submitted for publication. The International AIDS Society has also committed to giving significant profile to the public launch of this initiative at the International AIDS Conference in Melbourne this summer.
In the short term, this new approach can have an immediate impact in countries hardest hit by the AIDS epidemic as they develop national plans, working with these multilateral and bilateral players. In the long term, these joint goals position AIDS to be well-integrated into the post-2015 health and development goals, not only as a part of health, but as a critical element of economic development aimed at eliminating poverty and reducing inequalities.
The effects of this meeting will be seen in New York as well. Housing Works has been a part of a community coalition calling on Governor Andrew Cuomo to appoint a task force to develop and implement a concrete plan and timeline to end the AIDS epidemic, and it’s a promising sign that NY State Health Commissioner Nirav Shah used this event as a platform to publicly announce the goal of ending AIDS in New York State by 2020!
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