Friday, June 08, 2007

The UN and Friends Are Never Satisfied

This press release really needs no explanation. But to be helpful, let me just express a comment or two. If there is any validity to the UN statement that this $60 Billion gift from the G8 is 1/3 of what is needed over the next five years, what is wrong with getting 2 1/2 years worth of funds from an annual event?

And if this press release is right and a 'plan' is missing, then what are you doing with the money?

The fact that the US is contributing 1/2 of the money mentioned will 'buy' the US no applause. Last year the US provided almost 3/4 of a Trillion dollars in private donations to charity around the world. And many countries claim we're the bad guys. All I have to say is the UN, the authors of this press release, people like Bono and his ilk, plus the countries that complain about what the US does to contribute, have a lot of nerve complaining. What is anyone else doing that is so grand?

Pardon me, but from time to time the frustration of how things are done in this world deserve the occasional rant.

Stanford Matthews

G8 Leaders Promise $60 Billion, One-Third of Global Need

A Real Plan to Defeat AIDS & Drug Resistant TB is Still Missing

WASHINGTON, June 8 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The G8 leaders today
promised an increase in investment in programs to fight AIDS, tuberculosis
and malaria, but the $60 billion total will still be only one-third of what
the UN says is needed over the next five years. Together, these diseases
kill about 16,000 people a day.
Half of the total is a US contribution of $30 billion, but the US was
already on course to provide this even before President Bush's announcement
last week. The proposal was greeted with great fanfare, yet a closer looks
shows it would in fact keep spending at about current levels for the next
five years, despite the emergency of drug resistant TB.
"A plan to really defeat AIDS, TB and malaria is still missing, yet
that's what we must keep demanding of these leaders," said Dr. Paul Zeitz,
Executive Director of the Global AIDS Alliance. "This is not an issue of
'more money is always needed when it comes to poverty.' Rather, the full
amount is needed so that we can actually get ahead of these health crises,
which pose a threat to everyone."
UN estimates show that $192 billion is needed to address AIDS, TB and
malaria during from 2008 to 2012, mostly for HIV/AIDS, plus even more is
needed to improve health systems.
"We will have to watch the G8 carefully to see they keep their
promises," Zeitz said. "But even if they do keep them, the funding falls
far short of what is needed. In addition, their promise to provide this
money 'over the coming years' is outrageously vague for something this
The declaration reaffirms grant making by the Global Fund at a level of
$6 to 8 billion per year. However, each year for the past five years
President Bush has proposed a large cut in the US contribution, and the US
Congress is on course to provide only two-thirds of what the Fund needs
from the US in 2008.
There was a risk that the leaders would fail to recommit themselves to
the goal of universal access to HIV/AIDS services for 2010, including AIDS
treatment, but in the end they reaffirmed this goal. Still, the world is
not at present on course to provide full coverage by 2010.
The G8 acknowledged the need for reproductive and sexual health
services, as well as effective programs to end violence against women, as
essential parts of the response to AIDS.
"Peaceful protests, massive petitions and concerts again made a
difference by putting a spotlight on the imperative of the G8 keeping its
promises," said Zeitz. "Without the mobilization, we would not have made
the gains that we did."
Available Topic Expert(s): For information on the listed expert(s), click
appropriate link.
Dr. Paul S. Zeitz

SOURCE Global AIDS Alliance