United Methodist Global AIDS Fund
2016 Book of Resolutions, #3244
“Come to me, all you who are struggling hard and carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)
For over thirty years the General Conference of The United Methodist Church has spoken with prophetic compassion to the global issue of HIV & AIDS. The United Nations has declared the AIDS pandemic a “global emergency,” saying human life is threatened everywhere and world security is at risk as the planet faces the worst health crisis in 700 years.
According to the World Health Organization since the beginning of the epidemic, almost 78 million people have been infected with the HIV virus and about 39 million people have died of HIV. Globally, 37 million people are living with HIV or AIDS. Approximately 7,500 people are infected daily, including 900 babies born with HIV, which is completely preventable with access to testing and anti-retroviral drugs.
The 2004 General Conference established the United Methodist Global AIDS Fund (UMGAF) (UMCOR Advance #982345) and the 2008 and 2012 General Conferences reaffirmed this global health initiative. By 2015 UMGAF had funded, in partnership with the General Board of Global Ministries, 287 church-oriented and Christ-centered HIV & AIDS projects in 44 countries plus scores of annual conference AIDS projects. UMGAF facilitates ongoing educational efforts to equip hundreds of United Methodists to respond to the AIDS crisis locally and globally. Advocacy for prevention, care, and treatment has been a consistent focus of UMGAF since 2004 through its partnership with the General Board of Church and Society, which administers the AIDS Net- work in The United Methodist Church.
The face of AIDS is changing in the world. More persons have access to life-saving drugs, which is reducing the number of over-all deaths. But stigma inflicted by the Church and society keeps people from being tested and treated. UMGAF is the official entity in The United Methodist Church addressing these concerns as it works and prays for an AIDS-free world.
Of the total money raised in each annual conference for UMGAF, 25 percent shall be retained by the annual conference for programs combating HIV & AIDS in their region and/or in other global connectional projects. Each annual conference shall designate an appropriate agency for the promotion and distribution of these funds.
Also, of the total money raised in each annual conference for the United Methodist Global AIDS Fund, 75 percent shall be remitted by the conference treasurer to the Advance office at the General Board of Global Ministries for distribution to global projects in consultation with GBGM staff and the interagency United Methodist Global AIDS Fund Committee. UMGAF is governed by a committee comprised of one representative each from the General Board of Global Ministries, Council of Bishops, General Board of Church and Society, Division on Ministries With Young People, Office of Christian Unity and Interreligious Relationships, United Methodist Women, and General Commission on Communications, and three persons who are not serving on any of these agencies chosen by the committee for expertise and diversity. UMGAF is staffed by the volunteer committee as well as consultants. In order to ensure United Methodist HIV and AIDS ministries, operational and programmatic funds for the United Methodist Global AIDS Fund Committee will be provided either by a special apportionment or contingency funds of The United Methodist Church. The United Methodist Global AIDS Fund Committee will faithfully:
- assist local congregations and conferences in identifying and creating global partnerships for mutual HIV & AIDS ministry;
- provide support for projects sponsored by local congregations or organizations related to The United Methodist Church, partner autonomous Methodist churches and the ecumenical church;
- encourage partnerships between congregations and conferences in the United States and Methodist congregations and ecumenical organizations globally that are engaged in the struggle against HIV & AIDS;
- advocate for social justice, particularly related to decreasing stigma and increasing governmental and nongovernmental funding for HIV & AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria;
- develop appropriate promotional materials and funding guidelines;
- resource United Methodists through training and networking opportunities; and
- explore ways to ensure sustainability both fiscally and pro- grammatically through intentional coordination and collaboration with the global health efforts at the general church level.
As a critical global health initiative, the 2016 General Conference recommits itself to the vital ministry of the United Methodist Global AIDS Fund.
AMENDED AND READOPTED 2012, 2016
RESOLUTION #3244, 2008, 2012 BOOK OF RESOLUTIONS
RESOLUTION #154, 2004 BOOK OF RESOLUTIONS
See Social Principles, ¶ 162U.
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