The Global Fund to Fight AIDS Tuberculosis and Malaria

A Different Perspective

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The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis an...
The Global Fund to Fight HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria

Yesterday I posted a blog titled: Did the Government Let Us Down? where I questioned claims that had been made that not enough had been given by own government toward the Global Fund which contributes towards the eradication of diseases: in particular HIV/AIDS, malaria, TB.

I was asking: how much money is ‘enough’?

Outcomes from the United Nations Donor Meeting held on 4-5 October sparked this discussion. The meeting announced that US$11.7 billion had been pledged in new funding over the next three years to support the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. This in fact represents the largest-ever pledge for the collective effort to fight the three pandemics and will allow the Global Fund to further support countries as they work to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) related to health.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon commented in a more positive manner from the earlier claims which promoted my blog yesterday. He said:

At a time when so many Governments are tightening their belts at home, these commitments send a powerful message: It shows how seriously world leaders want to do the right thing beyond their borders, too.

What can we make of this? Two different claims, with the United Nations Secretary-General applauding this initiative. The esteemed members of the MDG Advocacy Group have shown support for what they describe as “the ample replenishment of the Global Fund”. The MDG Advocacy Group summarised it like this:

We can recommend no better and more timely investment on the planet to support the Millennium Development Goals.

That sounds like a call-to-action to build bridges with all the time we have available between now and 2015. 21 days to go before I start running (no more false starts!). Please step up and do what you can to influence extreme poverty. You might support this initiative with a $24 sponsorship, or from the time I commence running submit a photograph of a human bridge to be presented as a pictorial petition.

Any other ideas worth sharing? Let’s hear them!

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?