TIME HIV/AIDS

African Countries Should Spend More in AIDS Response, Study Says

A mother holds the hand of her Aids stricken son in Rakai, Ugand
Getty Images

To meet AIDS eradication goals, study says funding should be re-allocated

Twelve African countries with the highest prevalence of HIV/AIDS are currently the largest recipients of international AIDS funding. But it’s now possible for many of them to make domestic spending on the disease a priority, a new study says.

As countries in sub-Saharan Africa gain better financial footing, funds from donor countries are tightening. Researchers from Harvard School of Public Health and the Results for Development Institute decided to test a couple of scenarios to see whether funding for the AIDS response could be re-allocated so African countries would finance a greater share.

Their results, published in the journal The Lancet Global Health, show that overall, the 12 countries—Botswana, Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia—could provide a greater share of the costs of AIDS programs in their countries over the next five years. However, several countries will still need support from donors, even if they were to provide their maximum funds.

MORE: The End of AIDS

By looking at factors like expected growth and total government spending, and then comparing them to the countries’ AIDS needs, the researchers found that in most scenarios, AIDS expenditures for three of the upper-middle-income countries (Botswana, Namibia and South Africa) exceed their needs. In many cases, they found, these three countries could actually fund their needs solely from domestic resources. Other low-income countries like Mozambique and Ethiopia would still need to largely rely on donors.

Currently, the dozen countries are home to more than 50% of AIDS cases worldwide, as well as 56% of financial aid for the disease. They also account for 83% of funding from the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), which makes up one of the largest shares of international donations. In 2014, the United Nations program UNAIDS estimated that a “fast-tracked” response to ending the AIDS epidemic would mean we’d need $35 billion each year by 202o, but in 2012, only $19 billion was available and almost half came from international sources. To meet such goals, the researchers suggest their new funding strategy.

Almost none of the 12 countries meet possible financing benchmarks that the study authors believe to be reasonable. If the countries spent more domestically, researchers say that self-funding could increase 2.5 times and could cover 64% of future needs. That would still leave a gap of about $7.9 billion.

“Coupled with improved resource tracking, such metrics could enhance transparency and accountability for efficient use of money and maximize the effect of available funding to prevent HIV infections and save lives,” the study authors conclude. Sharing the financial burden of AIDS more equitably may be one strategy for eradicating the disease faster.

TIME Nigeria

40 Boys and Men Reportedly Abducted in Nigerian Village

Boko Haram
AP The leader of Nigeria's Islamic extremist group Boko Haram on Oct. 31, 2014.

Boko Haram is suspected to be responsible

Militants abducted as many as 40 boys and men from a village in northwest Nigeria this week in a raid that authorities have reportedly blamed on Boko Haram, the Islamist group that kidnapped over 250 school girls last year.

The victims, taken from the northeastern Nigerian village of Malari this week, are believed to be in their teens and early 20s, according to a witness, Reuters reports.

Boko Haram, which hasn’t yet claimed the latest abduction, has kidnapped hundreds of women and girls from northern Nigeria during its five-year insurgency. Fifty-seven of the 276 school girls kidnapped in April have escaped, while parents of the remaining victims recently appealed to the United Nations for help in the rescue efforts.

According to Reuters, “Boys are recruited as fighters and the girls as sex slaves, security officials say.”

TIME Money

Here’s Who Just Unseated Oprah as the World’s Richest Black Woman

Diamond Collection By Folake Majin Fashion Show
Bennett Raglin—Getty Images Folorunsho Alakija attends a fashion show in Lagos, Nigeria, on Dec. 27, 2012

Oprah's about $300 million short

Oprah Winfrey is no longer the world’s richest black woman. That distinction now belongs to Nigerian oil baroness and fashionista Folorunsho Alakija.

Alakija is worth at least $3.3 billion — about $300 million more than American television personality Oprah — Ventures Africa reports.

The 62-year-old started her career as a secretary at the erstwhile Merchant Bank of Nigeria, but moved to England in the early 1980s to study fashion design. She then returned to her native country and set up a high-end label called Supreme Stitches.

Although she amassed some wealth from the label, a significant proportion of Alakija’s fortune comes from an oil-exploration license granted to her company Famfa Ltd. in 1993. The 617,000-acre oil block would go on to become the highly lucrative OML 127, in which Alakija’s family retains a 60% stake.

According to Ventures Africa, her assets include a real estate portfolio worth over $100 million and a $46 million private jet.

Read next: Jack Ma Is the Richest Person in Asia

Listen to the most important stories of the day.

TIME Nigeria

Boko Haram Suspected in Mass Kidnap in Northeast Nigeria

The leader of Nigeria's Islamic extremist group Boko Haram on Oct. 31, 2014.
AP The leader of Nigeria's Islamic extremist group Boko Haram on Oct. 31, 2014.

The latest in a string of abductions

Islamist militants of the group Boko Haram are suspected of abducting at least 100 women and children, and killing nearly three dozen others, from a remote village in northeastern Nigeria.

Gunmen in trucks raided Gumsuri last Friday and staged an attack that ended on Tuesday, the Wall Street Journal reports, citing members of a local vigilante group. Gumsuri is located near Chibok, where 276 schoolgirls were abducted in April. The number of abductions in the new attack varies between news outlets, hovering between more than 100 and above 200.

Mike Omeri, a government spokesman, told TIME that the government is “outraged and deeply saddened by this deplorable act” and said the real number of those abducted isn’t known yet.

“It is impossible to verify the number of those missing at this early stage because it is presumed that many civilians fled during the attack,” he said in a statement. “As soon as government agencies and our local partners have together determined the credible number of missing civilians, we will provide that information to the public.”

The recent raid, the latest in a string of similar abductions in the restive region, comes about two months after the Nigerian government claimed it had reached a cease-fire with Boko Haram and that the group planned to release the schoolgirls. The group’s leader Abubakar Shekau later denied that a deal had been reached and said the girls had already been married off.

Read next: Girls Who Escaped Boko Haram Tell of Horrors in Captivity

TIME Photojournalism Links

Photojournalism Daily: Dec. 17, 2014

A compilation of the most interesting photojournalism found on the web, curated by Mikko Takkunen

Today’s daily Photojournalism Links collection highlights Tyler Hicks‘ work aboard the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf, one of the launch pads of the U.S.-led air campaign against the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS). More than a dozen warplanes take off from the carrier every day for missions over Iraq and Syria. The five-acre ship, with a crew of more than 5,000, has long played a role in the U.S.’s fight against terrorism. Some of the first air strikes of the Afghan war in 2001 were made by jets that took off from the Vinson, and it was on that same ship that, in 2011, Navy SEALs brought Osama bin Laden’s body after a raid in Pakistan, and buried it at sea. Hicks’ photographs offer an intriguing look at this massive symbol of American military power in the Middle East.

Tyler Hicks: A Desert War on ISIS, Fought From a Floating City (The New York Times)

Kirsten Luce: Documenting Immigration From Both Sides of the Border (TIME LightBox) Powerful photographs of migrants trying to enter the U.S. and the border patrols trying to catch them.

Robin Hammond: Lagos Portraits (National Geographic) Compelling portraits of Lagosians presented alongside their take on the city.

The Year in Pictures: 2014 (NBC News)

John Stanmeyer (Vogue Italy) Insightful interview with the World Press Photo of the Year 2013 winner.

TIME Photojournalism Links

Photojournalism Daily: Dec. 16, 2014

A compilation of the most interesting photojournalism found on the web, curated by Mikko Takkunen

Today’s daily Photojournalism Links collection highlights Robin Hammond‘s portrait of Lagos, Nigeria, where the booming economy is widening the wealth gap. Lagos is the largest commercial hub in Nigeria, which hosts Africa’s largest economy, and has become one of the continent’s great success stories. But not everyone has benefitted the same way. Hammond’s excellent photographs, made on assignment for National Geographic, take us from the exclusive clubs and gated communities of the rich to the squalid shanty towns and decayed housing complexes of the poor. The juxtaposition of impoverished and prosperous in this series is both jarring and stunning.

Robin Hammond: Africa’s First City (National Geographic)

Siegfried Modola: Rites of Womanhood (Reuters) These photographs document an arranged marriage in a Kenyan Pokot community.

Tomas Munita: Preserving Historic Yangon (The New York Times) The colonial-era buildings in Myanmar’s largest city have fallen into disrepair.

Steve Schapiro: The Long Road (The New Yorker) Compelling photographs from the 1965 Selma to Montgomery march.

The War Over the US Government’s Unreleased Torture Pictures (Wired) Interview with photography critic David Levi Strauss.

TIME Innovation

Five Best Ideas of the Day: December 5

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.

1. Peak gas: According to some forecasts, the fracking boom could be a bust.

By Mason Inman in Nature

2. To end the conflict with Boko Haram, Nigeria needs to address the alienation of its Muslims.

By John Campbell at the Council on Foreign Relations

3. “Protecting our coal workers is critical to successfully solving the climate problem.”

By Jeremy Richardson in the Union of Concerned Scientists

4. Tanzania can fight child marriage and protect the next generation of women by keeping girls in schools.

By Agnes Odhiambo in Human Rights Watch

5. When the last baby boomers move into retirement around 2030, today’s youth will carry the weight of our economy. They need support now.

By Melody Barnes in the World Economic Forum Blog

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

TIME Innovation

Five Best Ideas of the Day: December 2

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.

1. Let’s push for more college-educated cops.

By Keli Goff in the Daily Beast

2. As strongmen — often U.S. allies — attempt to lock up lifetime power, an African democracy movement takes shape.

By Mark Varga at the Foreign Policy Association

3. Being connected is more of a good thing than a bad thing.

By Mathew Ingram in GigaOm

4. Beyond diamonds: Conflict minerals are a growing blight. Enforcing a global standard can stop abuse.

By Michael Gibb in Project Syndicate

5. Changing the way we classify psilocybin — magic mushrooms — could open the door to research and new treatments for depression.

By Eugenia Bone in the New York Times

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

TIME Innovation

Five Best Ideas of the Day: November 14

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.

1. Superfast quantum computers could drastically change the future, and Microsoft might build the first one.

By Tom Simonite in MIT Technology Review

2. Water-smart urban design can reimagine life in Western cities suffering the worst drought in decades.

By Reed Karaim in JSTOR Daily

3. The new censorship: How intimidation, mass surveillance, and shrinking resources are making the press less free.

By George Packer in the New Yorker

4. A new approach to housing for families at risk that includes intensive, wrap-around services is showing early success.

By Mary Cunningham, Maeve Gearing, Michael Pergamit, Simone Zhang, Marla McDaniel, Brent Howell at the Urban Institute

5. Our best bet in the fight against Boko Haram might be sharing lessons on intelligence gathering.

By Jesse Sloman at Africa in Transition

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

TIME Nigeria

Suicide Bomber Kills 47 Children at Nigeria School Assembly

Police blame Boko Haram Islamist group

A suicide bomber has killed 47 children and injured 79 others during a school assembly Monday in north east Nigeria, reports Agence France Presse.

Emmanuel Ojukwu, a police spokesman told AFP, “There was an explosion detonated by a suicide bomber. We have 47 dead and 79 injured.”

He said that attack in Potiskum in Yobe state was probably carried out by the Islamist extremist group Boko Haram.

[AFP]

 

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