God, AIDS, Africa & HOPE

Reflections / Gedanken

23.07.2010 Cutting the money

During the World AIDS Conference in Vienna, more news broke that amongst others Germany intends to cut the money contribution to the Global AIDS Fund.
According to Prof Jeffery Sachs from the Earth Institute of the Columbia University, Germany has broken several promises in the past and for him, the decision to cut donations would be shocking. In an interview published in “Die Welt” (Friday, 23.July 2010 page 4) he reminded the reader that Germany has promised in 2002 to donate for developing aid 7% of the GDP. In 2005 Germany promised with the G8 to double the aid for Africa until 2020 and to allow access for all to the HAART treatment. The Global Funds are organised to put the promises into practise. We know by know that the promises not materialize.
Prof. Sachs put it into perspective: The Global Fund would need 3 billion US Dollar – a lot of money; but compared to the 15 billion spend by the NATO in Afghanistan it seems to be a decent amount.

It the news of cutting down the donations towards are true, there is a second threat coming from the responsible German Minister Niebler. He favours bi-lateral assistance instead of multilateral fonds. I am sure every activist with some internal knowledge about bi-lateral assistance knows that this is tricky and very subjective. Prof. Sachs maintains that only global fonds guarantee optimal and objective use of the funds distributed.

I must admit knowing and reading about the amounts our politicians used and use to help the financial institutions, to support the war in Afghanistan or to bail or Greece it is an ethical disgrace to cut funding in the moment when we are on the way to reach treatment access for all and so add a preventive tool to our arsenal assisting to combat HIV/AIDS. And it seems that the lives of those in the developing countries once again count for nothing. Or as Prof. Sachs coins it: If Germany would cut funding it would be ” unscrupulous” .

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