In October, HFG-Dominican Republic presented to the Health Commission of the Dominican Congress the results of a study to identify additional resources for the health sector, specifically for closing the country’s financial gap for the national response to HIV and AIDS. The HFG study estimated the impact of instituting a soda tax, increasing alcohol, tobacco, and short-stay hotel taxes, and the contributions from corporate social responsibility to the health sector budget. HFG’s study found that these innovative financial mechanisms would add more than US$ 150 Million (RD$7 billion) annually to the health budget, more than eight times the amount needed to close the financial gap for the HIV and AIDS response. The President of the Health Commission expressed a keen interest in the innovative proposals presented HFG-Dominican Republic’s Chief of Party Nassim Diaz and informed HFG of the bill he recently introduced to Congress for imposing a soda tax that would benefit the health sector in the country.
Members of the Dominican House of Representative’s Health Commission discuss HFG and PEPFAR’s work with Dominican Republic PEPFAR Country Coordinator Christopher Detwiler (right)
HFG Chief of Party Nassim Diaz (2nd from left) poses with Members of the Dominican House of Representative’s Health Commission, UNAIDS, and PEPFAR after the meeting.