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AIDS and G8 : where is the 10 billion dollars ?

06 - 27 - 2002

A year after the Group of Eight Industrialized Countries announced the "historic" creation of a Global Fund to fight AIDS, the contribution of the richest countries does not reach one tenth of the goal set forth by Annan. Where is the ten billion dollars ? There is almost no money left in the coffers of the Fund. In the past 12 months almost 3 million people have died of AIDS and the epidemic inexorably keeps spreading in size and scope.

sticker200In 2000 and more than 15 years after the beginning of the epidemic, the UN Security Council followed by the National Security Council announced that the AIDS pandemic was one of the most serious threats to international stability.

A few months later the World Bank warned the international community that the devastating effects of the epidemic in poor countries were about to reduce 50 years of development to nothing. At the same time Jeffrey Sachs, the head of the Harvard Institute in charge of the Health and Macroeconomic Commission of the WHO published a report written by experts estimating that the necessary funds to control the pandemic were 10 billion dollars a year, that is 0.05% of the GNP of the 8 richest countries, a sum which is inferior to what the G8 countries keep collecting from poor countries as debt service.

In April 2001 at the Abuja Summit in Nigeria, Kofi Annan, the UN Secretary General, called for an international financial mobilisation « without any common measure with the resources we presently spend if we want to win the war against AIDS ». The UN General Assembly Special Session on HIV/AIDS adopted the same target of 10 billion dollars a year. Thus in July 2001, in Genoa, the 8 richest states announced the creation of a Global Fund which was to garner 10 billion dollars a year.

To date their contributions do not add up to 500 million dollars a year, that is less than 5% of the target they had set. Where is the 10 billion dollars ? In the last 12 months almost 3 million people have died of AIDS. In 2015, if the trend is not reversed, 100 million people will be infected with HIV/AIDS and 95 million will eventually die.

Throughout the years, grass-roots activists, people with HIV, NGOs and doctors have mobilised day after day to fight the epidemic and save infected people. However, without more funds they will not be able to keep up the struggle.

The G8 industrialized countries are responsible for the deaths of 10 000 persons every day ; they are responsible for the continuous expansion of the epidemic which threatens the development and stability of entire continents. This is why they must immediately commit themselves to devoting O.O5% at least of their GNP to the funding of the fight against AIDS.

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