The Global AIDS Alliance has called Bush administration plans to support the Global AIDS Fund "woefully inadequate."
On Friday, President Bush announced a U.S. contribution of $200 million to the new fund for fiscal year 2001 and $500 million for fiscal year 2002. According to GAA, the two-year total is significantly less than what it considers to be a "fair" U.S. share of the $7 billion to $10 billion requested earlier this month by UN secretary-general Kofi Annan. GAA also criticized the fact that the bulk of the U.S. contribution won't be made until 2002 — a delay, says the organization, that condemns millions of Africans to death from AIDS-related infections.
"This proposed level of funding forces us to choose between providing prevention and full treatment, a course that is unsound from both a moral and public health standpoint," said GAA co-director Dr. Paul Zeitz. "Prevention, care and full treatment — including anti-retrovirals — can and must be fully funded. The cost savings resulting from a global bulk procurement mechanism, to purchase drugs at best world prices, must be fully utilized for this Global Fund to work. The Bush administration should also support full cancellation of debts owed the IMF and the World Bank as a means of freeing up more resources to fight AIDS."
GAA estimates the cost of battling AIDS in Africa at a minimum of $10 billion annually. With that figure as a baseline, a contribution from the U.S. government proportionate to U.S. gross domestic product — 29 percent of the world economy — would amount to roughly $3 billion.