Open Letter: the Global Fund and South Africa’s National Department of Health Must Take Action to Address Treatment Action Campaign’s Funding Crisis

Home | Open Letter: the Global Fund and South Africa’s National Department of Health Must Take Action to Address Treatment Action Campaign’s Funding Crisis
Equal Education Statement
For immediate release
8 December 2011
We, the undersigned are civil society groups from around the world committed to the fight against HIV/AIDS and related social justice movements. We have learned that the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) will face imminent closure in January 2012 unless it receives R6.5 million in payment owed by the National Department of Health, as part a five year grant from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (the Global Fund) to South Africa.

TAC is an influential and effective activist movement known around the world. In South Africa it has helped to save and better millions of people’s lives while deepening democracy and defending and advancing human rights. Today TAC faces a real threat of closure due to a funding crisis that is not of its own making.

A large portion of TAC's work depends on a five year grant from the Global Fund. TAC is one of the sub-recipients of that grant. In July 2011 TAC was scheduled to receive a R6.5 million tranche of funding ($760,000). However, the payment of the tranche to TAC–and all other sub-recipients–continues to be delayed.

This delay is jeopardizing TAC's vital work but it is just the tip of the iceberg–numerous other sub-recipients do vital HIV and tuberculosis work as part of this grant, such as the HIV and tuberculosis literacy series produced for television by Community Media Trust, among many others.

TAC now faces an acute cash flow crisis. Unless the tranche due is paid to TAC by the first week of January, one of the most effective AIDS activist organisations in the world will go into an unsustainable deficit in February 2012. This means TAC would have to retrench all its staff and close offices at the end of January 2012.

All of TAC's essential work–from life saving HIV treatment literacy to groundbreaking litigation in South African courts and much more–is at risk of coming to an abrupt end if the Global Fund does not fulfill its commitments. As a grant-funded organisation TAC cannot afford to run a deficit, despite the fact that through the support of our other donors TAC is otherwise solvent and spending according to agreed budgets and work-plans.

Besides the fact that over 230 activist organisers will lose their income, the closure of TAC would be a setback for South African democracy.

We call on the Director General, South African Department of Health, Ms Precious Matsotso; the Global Fund Executive Director, Prof. Michel Kazatchkine and the Global Fund Director of Country Programs, Mr Mark Edington to urgently finalise the next tranche of funding and ensure all sub-recipients are paid as soon as possible.


A Brave New Day, USA
ACT UP New York
ACT UP Philadelphia
Act V: The End of AIDS
Africa Japan Forum
AIDS Action Baltimore, USA
AIDS Action Mississippi, USA
AIDS and Society Research Unit, South Africa
AIDS Community Research Initiative of America 
AIDS Foundation of Chicago
AIDS Policy Project
AIDS Project Los Angeles
AIDS Project Worcester, Inc. Massachusetts, USA 
AIDS Treatment News
All-Ukrainian Network of PLWHA, Ukraine
Allies Linked for the Prevention of HIV/AIDS
American Medical Student Association (AMSA) 
amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research
Asia Catalyst, USA
Asia Pacific Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS (APN+)
AVAC: Global Advocacy for HIV Prevention
Canadian AIDS Society
Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network
Canadian Treatment Action Council
Catholics for Choice
Center for HIV Law and Policy, USA
Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR), Malawi 
Chicago Women's AIDS Project, USA
Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution (CASAC)
Dean and Church Council of Anglican St George’s Cathedral in Cape Town, South Africa
Democracy Development Programme, South Africa
Dominica Dhakwa Lilongwe, Malawi
Eastern Europe and Central Asia Union of PLWHA
Empower India
Equal Education, South Africa
GAIA Vaccine Foundation
Gambian Treatment Action Group
Global Health Advocates, France 
Global Hepatitis Prevention Initiative
Global Network of People living with HIV (GNP+)
Health GAP (Global Access Project)
Heroes Project, India
HIV Prevention Justice Alliance (HIV PJA)
HIV Young Leaders Fund
Housing Works
Howard Brown Health Center
Human Rights Watch, USA
IAVI (International AIDS Vaccine Initiative)
Institute for Security Studies, South Africa
International Civil Society Support
International Community of Women Living with HIV/AIDS
International Community of Women Living with HIV/AIDS in Zimbabwe (ICW-Zimbabwe)
International Council of AIDS Service Organisations (ICASO)
International Council of Jewish Women (ICJW)
International Treatment Preparedness Coalition
International Women’s Health Coalition
IRMA—International Rectal Microbicide Advocates
Lean on Me, Kenya
Legal Resources Centrs, South Africa
Levi Strauss Foundation 
Michigan Positive Action Coalition (MI-POZ)
National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW), USA
Ndifuna Ukwazi (Dare to Know), South Africa
Northern Colorado AIDS Project, Colorado, USA
Okaloosa AIDS Support & Informational Services, Inc (OASIS)
Open Arms of Minnesota, USA 
Partnership Project, USA 
Planeta Salud, Spain
PotoFanm+Fi, USA and Haiti
Presbyterian AIDS Network, USA
Project Inform, USA
PWA Coalition Colorado, USA
Salud por Derecho, Spain
Senderos Asociación Mutual, Colombia
Shikaya, South Africa
Social Equality Leadership School (SELS), South Africa
Social Justice Coalition, South Africa  
Stop AIDS Campaign, UK
STOP AIDS NOW!, The Netherlands
Students for Law and Social Justice (SLSJ), South Africa
Students for Law and Social Justice, South Africa
Support Public Broadcasting, South Africa
Test Positive Aware Network, USA
The Global Youth Coalition on HIV/AIDS 
The Salamander Trust
The Woodhull Sexual Freedom Alliance
The World Foundation for Medical Research and Prevention
Ti-chee Native AIDS Service Agency
Treatment Action Group (TAG)
Treatment Advocacy and Literacy Campaign (TALC), Zambia
Universities Allied for Essential Medicines
Visions for Nigeria Foundation
WE-ACTx, Rwanda
Women and Law In Southern Africa Research and Education Trust – Zimbabwe
World AIDS Campaign
Zambia AIDS Law Research & Advocacy Network (ZARAN)