How the Elton John AIDS Foundation Defibrillated Flatlining Global Funding

Since 2008, international assistance for AIDS from donor governments has remained largely unchanged. The gap between the resources available and the resources needed to meet the U.N.'s Millennium Development Goal by 2015 grew to around $7.2 billion. With donor governments drawing back support and the gap between what's had and what's needed widening, the Elton John AIDS Foundation's $1.85 million toward the global AIDS battle may be more important now than ever before.

Overall funding for AIDS initiatives in the United States and Europe was predicted to be relatively flat throughout this year. That prediction happily turned out to be wrong when the Funders Concerned About AIDS and the European HIV/AIDS Funders Group released its annual report in November, revealing that AIDS funding actually increased slightly.

Related: Elton John AIDS Foundation: Grants for Global Health

While the small increase of about 5 percent is good news, it's not enough to fill the gap between resources available and resources needed, and the overall gap of $7.2 billion may not be spread evenly between developed and developing countries. That is to say, developing countries are likely to feel the funding pinch worse than developed countries. The Elton John AIDS Foundation is attempting to address this imbalance, with the lion's share of the $1.85 million in grants going toward nonprofits working with people affected by AIDS in the Caribbean, Latin America, and South America.

All but two of the 13 grants awarded were renewals, including grants to the Clinton Foundation's Health Access Initiative, AIDS International, and amfAR's GMT Initiative, which works toward reducing the spread and impact of HIV among gay men in low- and middle-income countries. The two new grants of $50,000 each were awarded to the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network.

Related: amfAR: Grants for Global Health

As far as donor governments reducing their financial support, it's no secret that governments around the world are strapped for cash. Although there could be a million reasons for the cash flow issues, one large one is the global economic crisis. The economic crisis is said to be improving, albeit achingly slowly, but donor governments simply don't have the money they used to have. Neither do donors and foundations. These are just a few of the long list of reasons why the Elton John AIDS Foundation's $1.85 million is so important.