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Programme for Action to Confront HIV/AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis (2007-2011)

This programme proposes a collective Community action to support programmes to combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis run by developing and middle-income countries and an action at international level in areas where the EU can provide added value.

ACT

Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament - A European Programme for Action to Confront HIV/AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis through External Action (2007-2011) [COM(2005) 179 final - Not published in the Official Journal].

SUMMARY

This programme for action is aimed at making up the financing shortfall to meet the sixth Millennium Development Goal (MDG), i.e. to combat HIV/AIDS and other diseases. Given that funding for AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis remains inadequate, the Union is scaling up the interventions that can achieve the best results.

The EU is committed to stepping up political dialogue on human rights, sexual and reproductive health and rights, and on the needs of orphans and vulnerable children. It is also stressing the need to help vulnerable groups, such as drug addicts, prisoners, elderly people, people with disabilities, refugees and displaced populations.

The EU will ensure the sharing of expertise with the aim of playing a constructive role in the policy and technical dialogue, particularly as regards the review of the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP), sectoral policy and the Country Coordinating Mechanisms (CCMs) of the Global Fund.

The Commission will prepare a handbook for the delegations and services to promote disease prevention among their staff.

The European Union will map the resources available for technical assistance with a view to developing a plan for shared technical assistance. This plan will be governed by a code of conduct for collective action. In 2006 the European Commission will present a policy document on human resources in the field of health to help formulate specific measures and implement the current programme for action. This strategy should take several issues into consideration, from the adoption of a European Code for recruitment practice, via the drawing up of national plans for human resources development, to the formulation of a Declaration of Global Solidarity.

The Commission wants to strengthen clinical research capacities through the European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP) initiative. This would be in the context of new measures aimed at improving local or regional health-care services at clinical trial sites, reinforcing human resources, building new infrastructures such as hospital services, and providing access to medical care coverage for the population during the clinical trials.

The European Union will help the countries concerned to develop sound and efficient procurement policies for medicines and pharmaceutical products such as condoms, long-lasting insecticide-treated bed nets and anti-retroviral drugs. This action will be accompanied by an education campaign on children's safety at school, aimed at increasing protection against the risks of rape, pregnancy or infection with HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases.

In emergency situations and protracted crises, the European Commission Humanitarian Office (ECHO) will help to stem the transmission of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. ECHO will also commit itself to reducing the mortality and human distress caused by these diseases through awareness-raising, information and training and the provision of prevention tools for humanitarian workers.

The European Commission proposes a set of specific, cost-effective measures likely to yield rapid results:

  • targeted distribution of free insecticide-treated bed nets and reinforcement of marketing strategies which encourage local production capacity;
  • targeted distribution of free contraceptives linked to increased investment in health promotion and building capacity for social marketing;
  • provision of universal free access to voluntary counselling services and testing and antiretroviral treatments for HIV-positive pregnant women.

In cooperation with international partners such as the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Member States, the European Commission will also take action to confront these diseases at regional and global level.

This programme for action seeks to reinforce the regional networks with a view to promoting access to safe, affordable pharmaceutical products, strengthening regulatory capacity, increasing human resources in the health sector and research and development of new tools.

The European Commission will monitor the implementation of the results of Council Regulation (EC) No 953/2003 to avoid trade diversion into the European Union of certain key medicines. It will also promote price transparency on pharmaceutical products used to combat the three diseases by asking the countries concerned to publish the prices of products purchased by national programmes funded by the EU and by the Global Fund. These prices will be made available on the Commission website to make it easier to compare them and assess the impact of the untying of aid.

The Commission will provide scientific assistance and specific guidelines on key products to help to strengthen scientific capacity and the regulation of national and regional organisations in the area of evaluation and of authorisation for putting pharmaceutical products on the market.

The Commission will support the research and development of new tools and interventions aimed at developing new vaccines, medications, microbicides and diagnostic tools for resource-poor settings. It will encourage cooperation in the area of research between organisations from disease-endemic countries with European partners.

To overcome the shortfall in human resources, the EU will support a series of innovative initiatives, the aim of which should be to increase incentives for healthcare workers to remain in or return to developing countries or regions where the need is greatest. The initiatives also aim to improve research prospects and stem the brain drain.

The Commission will support a certain number of public-private partnerships and global initiatives. It will consult with a wide range of partners through its Stakeholder Forum, including persons directly affected by these three diseases who can make their voices better heard at global level.

It will also assess the commitments of the international partnerships on the basis of unique know-how, strong presence in countries and essential resources, benefits for the EU in terms of its investment and benefits for the Commission's partner.

Other key partners for the Commission are the WHO and UNAIDS, which provide specific know-how on the diseases through the "Roll Back Malaria" and "Stop Tuberculosis" initiatives, as well as the UNFPA, the WTO and UNICEF.

The Commission can make its voice heard on the international stage by virtue of a formal mandate and can establish a credible dialogue with non-EU countries. It must also maintain close cooperation with the Member States of the Union, as part of both the United Nations and the G8.

Close cooperation will be established between the Commission and the Member States to advance the implementation of specific measures at country level. Moreover, the Commission will monitor the implementation of these measures through annual and mid-term reviews of country-specific instruments, the 7th Framework Programme and the monitoring and evaluation mechanisms of the Global Fund. In 2008 and 2010, it will present comprehensive progress reports to Parliament and the Council on the implementation, outputs and impact of the Programme for Action.

The budget allocations with respect to the actions proposed in this Programme for Action will be determined in the next financial perspectives.

Last updated: 05.07.2011
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