Africa: Rich Countries Stall on New AIDS Funding (Reposted from sources cited below)
Meeting in Paris to consider additional funding for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria, donors added a few additional promises and little new funding to meet an expected shortfall of $500 million to $800 million this year, with an additional $3 billion needed to cover grants in 2004. Meanwhile, President Bush is urging Congress to restrict U.S. grants to the Fund to only $200 million a year. European countries have yet to meet the expectation that they would pledge another $1 billion. In comparison, the cost of the war in Iraq is now estimated by the Pentagon at $3.9 billion each month, or $130 million a day. The $200 million U.S. Global Fund contribution proposed by Bush for one year thus amounts to little more than 32 hours of war expenses in Iraq.
This posting contains a press release from the Global Fund putting as positive a spin as possible on new promises, a June 17 letter from the White House explicitly urging Congress not to provide more money than the President's request of only $200 million for the Global Fund and $2 billion total for 2004 funding, a brief note from Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS reports on the status on congressional action as of Friday, and excerpts from an opinion piece by Jeffrey Sachs commenting on the default by both Europe and the U.S.
Another posting today contains several statements by African AIDS activists released during and after President Bush's Africa trip.
Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria Global Fund Press Release 16 July 2003
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Presidents of the European Commission and France commit to a billion dollars from Europe for the Global Fund
Paris - At an international conference to highlight the progress of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, European Commission President Romano Prodi committed personally to fight for a one billion dollar contribution from Europe for 2004.
"I am the guarantor for the one billion," President Prodi said at the closing ceremony for the International Conference to Support the Global Fund. "But you must respect that the European Union is a democracy of 15 sovereign states, and we don't always agree on everything. Sometimes we work a little like the turtle in the fable: we may sometimes work slowly, but we can be trusted to reach our goals in the long run."
In his closing speech, French President Jacques Chirac reaffirmed his call for Europe to contribute one billion dollars each year, while calling for the United States to also allocate one billion dollars each year to the Fund.
"The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria is an outstanding instrument," President Chirac said. "It was set up in record time. It is already operating on the ground, saving lives. Naturally we will assess its efficiency very carefully. But I am convinced that this multilateral response expresses, better than any other, the ideal of solidarity and collective action that must impel us."
Earlier in the day, other leaders had also pronounced their support for the Global Fund.
"I believe in the Global Fund," said Nelson Mandela in an address to the conference. "I believe that it has shown great progress, and that we must, in turn, commit more support to its success and future."
Mr Mandela addressed 250 delegates consisting of ministers of health and foreign affairs, senior development officials, private sector executives and non-governmental organizations in a conference hosted by the French government. The conference was co-chaired by US Secretary of Health and Human Services, Tommy Thompson, the French Minister of Development and Francophonie, Pierre Andre Wiltzer, and the French Minister for Health, Family and Disabled Persons, Jean-Francois Mattei.
There was a unified call by the speakers for sufficient new money to ensure that the Global Fund can finance the rapidly increasing needs of programs in countries with heavy burdens of disease.
Some countries announced new pledges to the Global Fund. A number of other countries re-confirmed their support.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation announced that it would accelerate its payment of the remaining US$ 50 million of a previous US$ 100 million commitment in order to help increase the amount of funds available for the third round of funding coming up in October. The French-based public relations group Publicis unveiled a long-term pro bono collaboration to improve awareness of the Global Fund.
"Turning the tide of AIDS, TB and malaria is a priority second to none," said Kofi Annan, Secretary General of the United Nations in his address. "The Fund is there to fill a specific and substantial gap to scale up by providing effective funding (to fight the three diseases)."
The Global Fund is a funding mechanism for country-based programs of proven interventions against the three diseases. Initial funding is provided for two years, with continued support dependent on program performance. In its first two rounds of grant applications, the Global Fund approved grants worth US$ 1.5 billion over two years to more than 150 programs in 92 countries. This money will provide more than 500,000 people living with HIV/AIDS with antiretroviral treatment, and medical and educational support for half a million children orphaned due to AIDS. It will also enable the detection and treatment of two million additional cases of tuberculosis, and deliver 20 million combination drug treatments for drug-resistant malaria.
Since March, the Global Fund has doubled its disbursement every month and is on track to provide US$200 million to its recipients by the end of the year. Through 2004, US$2.6 billion has been pledged to the Fund, with an additional US$2.1 billion pledged for 2005 to 2008. An additional US$3 billion is required to fund its next three rounds of approved grant applications.
THE WHITE HOUSE,
Washington, July 17, 2003.
Hon. Bill Frist, Majority Leader, U.S. Senate, Washington, DC.
DEAR LEADER FRIST:
It is my understanding that an amendment regarding funding for HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria may be offered today to the Department of Defense FY2004 appropriations bill currently under consideration on the Senate floor.
I want to reiterate the Administration's strong support for the FY2004 budget request of $2 billion for all international HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria activities, including $200 million for the Global Fund to Fight HIV/AIDS, TB, and Malaria. This request is a solid first step in fulfilling the President's commitment of providing $15 billion over the next five years to address the HIV/AIDS pandemic in Africa, the Caribbean and around the world.
I recently finished traveling to Africa with the President where he saw first-hand the positive impact that current U.S. funding is having in caring for the sick, providing treatment for individuals living with HIV/AIDS and extending lives. He also witnessed the vast infrastructure and capacity challenges that need to be addressed in order to scale-up many of these efforts.
It is by careful design that the President's FY2004 budget request is for $2 billion. This request was based on the sound judgment that funds in excess of this amount could not be spend effectively in this first year. These funds will be spent in a focused manner, increasing each year, to efficiently and effectively create the necessary training, technology, and infrastructure based needed to ensure delivery of appropriate medical treatment protocols and the long term success of this initiative.
These funds are vital to our efforts to combat HIV/AIDS abroad, but must be spent in the right way, at the right time. Similarly, efforts to increase funding to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria are not appropriate at this time. Currently, the United States is responsible for over 40% of all contributions made to the Global Fund. We have reached a critical time in the Global Fund's development, and other nations must join the U.S. in supporting the work of the Global Fund.
For the reasons stated above, the Administration strongly opposes any efforts to increase funding beyond the $2 billion requested in the President's FY2004 budget. I appreciate your unwavering leadership on this issue and look forward to the continued strong bipartisan support of the Senate in ensuring the success of this lifesaving initiative.
Dr. Joseph F. O'Neill Director, Office of National AIDS Policy.
>From the Congressional Record 17 July 2003
Kaiser Daily News HIV/AIDS Report A service of kaisernetwork.org http://www.kaisernetwork.org/dailyreports/hiv
February 18, 2003
1. Senate Appropriations Committee Passes Foreign Aid Bill With $1.4B To Fight AIDS; Democrats Will Push for More Money
The Senate Appropriations Committee yesterday approved an $18.1 billion fiscal year 2004 foreign aid spending bill, including $1.4 billion to fight AIDS, but Democrats said that they will push for more money to fight the epidemic, Reuters reports. Additional money for the five-year, $15 billion global AIDS initiative (HR 1298) is expected to be included in other spending bills that the committee has yet to consider, according to Reuters (Allen, Reuters, 7/17). The House Appropriations Committee on Wednesday approved its version of the FY 2004 foreign aid spending bill, which includes $1.43 billion for AIDS. The House so far has approved a total of $2 billion for the AIDS initiative in FY 2004, an increase of about $500 million over FY 2003 spending. The full House on July 10 approved a bill (HB 6470) to provide funding for labor, education and health programs, including $644 million for foreign AIDS research and prevention and $155 million for combating other infectious diseases, such as tuberculosis (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 7/17). The House, which authorized up to $3 billion for the fight against AIDS, expects to appropriate about $2.1 billion -- a 70% increase in spending over last year's total -- according to the Christian Science Monitor (Chaddock, Christian Science Monitor, 7/18).
Amendment Expected in Senate Floor Debate
The $1.4 billion in the Senate measure includes $700 million for U.S.-run programs under the global AIDS initiative, up to $250 million for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and $150 million for the International Mother and Child HIV Prevention Initiative, according to CongressDaily/AM (Caruso/Hess, CongressDaily/AM, 7/18). President Bush in June 2002 announced a three-year, $500 million international HIV/AIDS initiative focused on preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV in Africa and the Caribbean (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 6/19/02). Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), ranking member of the Foreign Operations Appropriations subcommittee, said that when the measure is debated on the floor he plans to offer an amendment to the bill that would increase HIV/AIDS spending by $1 billion (CongressDaily/AM, 7/18). The full Senate last week approved 78-18 a nonbinding resolution calling for $3 billion in 2004 to fight AIDS overseas, even if the amount exceeds the ceiling mandated in Congress's annual budget resolution (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 7/17).
The full Senate yesterday passed a $368.6 billion defense spending bill (S 1382), voting 71-24 to defeat an amendment by Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.) that would have transferred $1.1 billion from defense spending to the AIDS initiative (Guggenheim, AP/Philadelphia Inquirer, 7/18). Republicans yesterday said that AIDS funding should not be in the defense bill but should be "dealt with in other bills," according to Reuters (Reuters, 7/17). The Senate defense bill will be reconciled with a similar measure passed last week in the House (Guggenheim, AP/Las Vegas Sun, 7/17). Democrats and AIDS advocates have said that U.S. credibility will be damaged if Congress fails to appropriate $3 billion for the first year of the AIDS initiative (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 7/11). "Just as we feared, the $3 billion turned out to be an empty promise to some of the most desperate people in the world," Paul Zeitz, executive director of the Global AIDS Alliance, said (Reuters, 7/17).
Message-Id: <200307191723.h6JHNqH25490@marduk.africapolicy.org> From: "Africa Action" <email@example.com> Date: Sat, 19 Jul 2003 13:25:58 -0500 Subject: Africa: Rich Countries Stall on New AIDS Funding