Global Health

Joint U.N. Programme on HIV/AIDS Needs to Strengthen Country-Level Efforts and Measure Results Gao ID: GAO-01-625 May 25, 2001

Despite efforts by the international community to reduce the spread of the human immunodeficiency virus, AIDS is now the fourth leading cause of death in the world and the primary cause of death in sub-Saharan Africa. The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), funded in part by the United States, is one important international effort against the disease. UNAIDS was established by the United Nations (U.N.) in 1996 to provide coordinated U.N. action and to lead and promote an expanded global response to the worldwide epidemic. This report (1) assesses UNAIDS' progress, especially at the country level, toward increasing the coordination and commitment of the U.N. and global community; (2) assesses UNAIDS' progress in providing technical assistance and information and in developing a monitoring and evaluation plan to measure results; and (3) identifies factors that may have affected UNAIDS' progress. GAO found that UNAIDS has made progress in increasing U.N. coordination and enhancing the global response to the worldwide HIV/AIDS epidemic, but its country-level efforts need to be strengthened. UNAIDS has provided financial and technical support to about 50 HIV/AIDS technical networks worldwide, but has not been as successful in tracking the funding and actions host governments and others have taken to address the AIDS problem. UNAIDS has also been unable to follow its intended model of U.N. reform, whereby a single Secretariat together with several U.N. agencies would marshal the U.N. and global community's resources to address the AIDS epidemic.


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