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NGOs Call on U.S. to Lead Efforts to Stop HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria, Rather Than Impose Caps on the Funds to Fight Them!

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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

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WASHINGTON -- NGOs are outraged at developments of the current Board meeting of the Global Fund Board to Fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, currently taking place in Geneva, Switzerland.

Many donor governments are promoting the establishment of a ceiling on the next round of disease fight grants to developing countries.

The establishment of a ceiling would deny lifesaving services to those facing HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, and would represent a fundamental shift in the principles of the Global Fund that risks reversing the important gains on these three diseases that have been led, in large part, by the United States. Either an explicit ceiling or an implicit ceiling (by allotment of a specific portion of funds pledged during the current replenishment process) would be a major change in policy at the fund, where funding allocation has been based on country-initiated plans rather than artificial caps by donors.

The Global AIDS Alliance and Health GAP call upon donor governments to clarify publicly that they do not endorse a ceiling on the number of people in need who can receive lifesaving services from the Global Fund, and that they do not contemplate any postponement of the lifesaving grants already announced for May 2010.

"An artificial cap on funding would gravely undermine the Global Fund's innovative demand-driven model, which matches donor resources with developing countries' ambition in expanding access to life-saving health services," said Dr. Paul Zeitz, Executive Director of the Global AIDS Alliance. "The Unites States must step back from the brink of this decision and recommit to fully funding the fight against AIDS, TB and malaria."

"It is outrageous that the Obama administration has used trillions in U.S. taxpayer money for Wall Street bailouts, allowing bankers to give $20 billion in bonuses, while donors come to this meeting intent to impose a cap on the number of people who will get lifesaving AIDS treatment and planning to break their promises to fully fund the Global Fund," said Asia Russell, Director of International Policy at Health GAP.

"This is a moment in which the Obama administration must lead the international community in ensuring that people receive lifesaving treatment. Now is the time for leadership by committing to provide the U.S. fair share to the Global Fund and also to fully fund U.S. global health programs," said Zeitz.

The imposition of a ceiling goes against the commitment made by donor countries, at both the 2005 G8 summit and the United Nations, to attain universal access to AIDS treatment by 2010. According to UNAIDS, less than a third of those who currently need emergency HIV treatment receive it.

Founded in 2001, the Global AIDS Alliance is committed to mobilizing the political will and financial resources needed to halt global HIV/AIDS and reduce its devastating effects. GAA believes that effective AIDS advocacy must address the epidemic's fundamental links to poverty and social injustice, including gender inequality, lack of education, and violence against women and children.

Health GAP is an organization of AIDS and human rights activists, people living with HIV, public health experts, fair trade advocates and concerned individuals who campaign against policies of neglect and avarice that deny treatment to millions and fuel the spread of HIV.

Source: Global AIDS Alliance
2.75
2.8 from 8 votes
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