For 6 months, people living with HIV/AIDS worldwide have been told that universal access to treatments will not be possible because of the lack of ressources due to the financial crisis. However, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) just received a new dotation of 1000 billion USD from the G-20 countries to fight the effects of a crisis which those responsible have not been been held accountable : bankers, shareholders, and any kind of speculators.
1000 billion USD for the IMF ! This institution requires of countries it supposedly supports that they cut public expenditures — mainly education and health — in order to liberate resources necessary to reimburse the IMF loans. Lettonie is about to go through it : the support allowed by the IMF is dependent on a 30-40% budget cut, the only breathing space of the country is indeed to cut the education budget and above the health one. In Lettonie, 1% of the population lives with HIV/AIDS — the highest prevalence rate in Europe. What consequences will the « rescue » of the country by the IMF have on prevention education and access to health care, and moreover, people living with the disease themselves ?
To fund a « support » policy by the IMF — a policy that has been eroding essential health infrastructures in southern countries for 20 years — G-20 countries have managed to find more than 1000 billion USD. But, in order to « rescue » the Global Fund to fight AIDS, TB and malaria, a policy that has saved more than 2 millions of lives in 5 years with less than 7 billion USD, these same counties have been unwilling to find 5 more billion — 200 times less that for the IMF ! Where are their priorities ?
The solution is easy :
– The IMF must share with the Global Fund, condition free, 0,5% of the 1000 billion USD it just received from the G-20 ;
– The heads of the IMF must ensure that its support will not cause any budgets cuts that to live-saving prevention policy, testing, access to cares and health care systems reinforcements in poor countries.