Millions of children across the world will be spending Mother’s Day this year without their mothers – because they have lost them to AIDS. Many more will face it having to care for their sick mother, knowing that she will die soon. As their health declines – as it inevitably will without treatment – mothers are less and less able to care for their children. Gradually roles are reversed until it is older children who end up as the carers, tending to their ailing parents and caring for their siblings.1
With the rising numbers of children affected by AIDS, communities are struggling to provide support. Millions of dollars have been promised to fight HIV and AIDS, but funding bottlenecks and a lack of focus on children means the money is failing to reach the most vulnerable children.
That is why Save the Children is calling for:
a focus on better care for mothers and children affected by HIV and AIDS, as well as orphaned children
at least $6.4 billion – 12 per cent of promised AIDS funding – to be targeted at children and families2
support for national social welfare systems that provide direct financial and other benefits to families
donors to remove funding bottlenecks and ensure that communities are involved in developing and implementing national AIDS
plans, so that funds reach the most vulnerable children
free healthcare and more testing and treatment facilities.
Gilborn LZ, Nyonyintono R, Kabumbuli R and Jagwe-Wadda G (2001) Making a difference for children affected by AIDS: Baseline findings from operational research in Uganda.Washington, DC; Yamano T and Jayne TS (2005) ‘Working-age adult mortality
and primary school attendance in rural Kenya’, Economic Development and Cultural Change, 53(3):619–653)
UNAIDS, Resource Needs for an Expanded Response to AIDS in Low- and Middle-income Countries,August 2005.The $6.4 billion figure is calculated on the basis of 12 per cent of the $55.1 billion estimated by the UNAIDS Global Task Team as
total AIDS funding needed.