Particularly worrying is DGD's declining support for HIV prevention and treatment, for which the budget was cut in half during the previous government term. Support has been falling since 2017, with substantially less attention for HIV in Belgium’s bilateral cooperation and less support for multilateral organisations that take the lead in the global 'HIV response', such as UNAIDS and the Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM). Multilateral support did increase in 2019, but not enough to turn the tide.
On World AIDS Day, Sensoa asks the new Minister of Development Cooperation Meryame Kitir to recover support for HIV prevention and treatment by focusing on an integrated and multi-sectoral approach.
The audit also revealed significant drops in Belgium’s support for the sector of reproductive health, ending up to be a quarter lower in 2019 compared to the beginning of the previous government term, despite it being a policy priority. Within humanitarian aid, the support for reproductive health remained stable, but leaves a lot of room for improvement.
Overall, we continue to face the problem that the available data on expenditures do not provide an insight into what the Belgian development cooperation concretely consists of. For instance, we do not know how much support Belgium effectively spends on family planning, if Belgium’s support reaches young people with information about safe sex and free or affordable contraception, and how much money actually is being dedicated to HIV prevention. Sensoa thus continues to ask DGD to better map what Belgium’s support consists of and which target groups it reaches.
The report and the executive summary with the most important findings and concrete recommendations for the Belgian development cooperation is available in Dutch and French. The analysis was conducted based the figures provided to Sensoa by DGD in November 2020.