Cambodia Not to Be on Track to Reduce New Infections by 2025

Based on a modeling exercise, Cambodia will not be on track to reduce new infections up to the 2025 targets, Senior Minister H.E. Ieng Mouly, Chairman of the National AIDS Authority addressed to UN High-level Meeting on HIV/AIDS via Videoconference last night.

Insufficient funding for HIV prevention hinders the expansion of the innovative interventions addressing most vulnerable young key population, especially men who have sex with men and transgenders, but Cambodia is committed to achieving the 95-95-95 targets by 2025, he said.

In Cambodia, he continued, the knock-on impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has created additional setbacks and caused dangers of under-investment in public health, system for health, and pandemic preparedness.

"On our roadmap towards sustainable response to HIV and AIDS, line ministries and concerned institutions have been implementing six policy measures listed in the Government’s recommendation letter number 213, issued by the Council of Ministers in February 2019. This recommendation letter provides a blueprint for transformative actions in health and other related sectors to support the national movement from the central to local level focusing on strengthening the country system in close partnership with community networks to address the root causes of inequalities in public services," he added.

To leave no one behind, Cambodia is determined to apply a people-centered and integrated approach. This approach should be applied in broader government policies and reforms such as Universal Health Coverage, Social Protection, and other efforts to attain the Cambodia Sustainable Development Goals (CSDGs).

"Over the next five years, we pledge to take urgent actions through a coordinated national HIV response based on global solidarity and shared responsibility to fully implement the commitments, goals and targets contained in the Political Declaration," he said.

With all Cambodia's determination to move from dependency to resilience, H.E. Ieng Mouly also expressed the concern over the impact of COVID-19.

"In this regard, we would like to appeal to developed countries to reconsider the overseas development assistance (ODA) and to re-adjust it to suit with the country’s situation in order to retain the gains of our previous response and to close the gaps that are preventing progress towards ending AIDS," he underlined.

Cambodia is one of seven countries globally to have achieved the 90-90-90 targets in 2017, said the senior minister, stressing that these achievements have been driven by good partnership between national and sub-national institutions with development partners, civil society organisations, key representatives of PLHIV, and the vulnerable population’s networks throughout the country.

Source: Agency Kampuchea Press