Member organizations threatened by federal funding cuts

November 30, 2016

Canadian government blows hot and cold on financing the fight against HIV/AIDS.

Justin Trudeau certainly blew hot when he announced in May a 20% increase in Canada’s contribution to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, then confirmed it in September.

However, the enthusiasm of the Canadian HIV/AIDS community did not last long! From 29 September, just two weeks after the Global Fund’s replenishment conference in Montreal, the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) blew freezing air on organizations fighting HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis C and other blood-borne and sexually transmitted infections. As a result of new funding rules at the PHAC, some organizations had their funding purely and simply scrapped. Many more suffered cuts representing up to 70% of their budgets.

Quebecois organizations, including 7 members of the Fondation québécoise du sida (Fqsida) have taken a direct hit from these measures, which jeopardize the existence of many of them. They are now denouncing a two-phased process of consultation and allocation of funds that lacked transparency from its inception and is out of sync with realities on the ground. They are urging the PHAC and Ottawa to suspend the process, maintain the status quo based on previous funding, for a year, starting before 31 March 2017, and do an in-depth review of the way it collaborates with and funds communities.

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