Did the Government Let Us Down?

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Kevin Rudd (right) and Julia Gillard (left) at...
Please explain

Tom Bland from Oaktree made this comment last week:

Last week, Kevin Rudd committed $210 million of Australian money towards the Global Fund to fight HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria. The global community coughed up a total of $11.7 billion.

Let’s not make excuses, or pretend that this is enough money – the reality is that it’s simply not good enough. The Global Fund needed $13 billion to even keep doing what it’s already doing. It needed $17 billion if it was to meet future needs, and $20 billion if it was to adequately help achieve the MDGs and end mother-child transmission of HIV. Australia’s fair share was $500 million – and we didn’t even get half that.

I wonder how Australia made that calculation- the $210 dollars? I wonder whether Australia actually have a ‘fair share’ to contribute?

When is the point reached where ‘enough money’ is given? Who decides? And if the Australian Government did fall short, who did they let down- us, the United Nations, those who have yet to be infected with HIV/AIDS. TB, Malaria or Measles?

Why didn’t the Global Fund just cut out the inevitable disappointment from government and lean on a few ‘rich’ people, as Peter Singer suggests in his book The Life You Can Save?

And if we are all surprised at the government giving less than half of what their ‘fare share’ ought to have been, what the hell was going on in New York during the high-level conference about the Millennium Development Goals which was addressed by Kevin Rudd and monitored in New York by Oaktree?

Who was to blame for the other $6.3 billion deficit where the Global Fund fell short? Fair shake of the sauce bottle!

I think there is more to this than complaining over a ‘fair share’ of money being paid to the Global Fund. What was achieved at the United Nations Conference in September? Is this report from Tom Bland the first signs of blame toward government and the United Nations as we approach 2015?

How should we now respond? Giving money to make up the shortfall?




2 thoughts on “Did the Government Let Us Down?

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