Noting that the world’s second-largest economy received nearly $1 billion from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria over the past decade, but contributed just $25 million, AIDS patients, doctors and advocates from around the world affiliated with AIDS Healthcare Foundation will target China for its misuse of the Global Fund and will call on China to contribute $1 billion to the Fund’s AIDS fight
WASHINGTON (May 23, 2013)—A group of AIDS patients, doctors and advocates from around the world affiliated with AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) are targeting China for its misuse of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and will step up a demand that China contributes $1 billion to the Fund for the worldwide fight against AIDS.
At a press conference on for Friday, May 24th at 10:30am at the National Press Club in Washington (529 14th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20045), AIDS advocates called on China to contribute $1 billion to the Global Fund, noting that over the past decade, the world’s second-largest economy received nearly $1 billion from the Global Fund as a recipient country, yet contributed just $25 million as a donor. Over the same years, the United States has contributed more than one-third of all contributions to the Fund.
The Global Fund is a program funded by the wealthy nations that is designed to provide financial assistance to developing countries that lack the resources to fight diseases and build up medical infrastructures.
“China currently has over $2.5 trillion dollars in foreign currency reserves. It spent over $40 billion to host the 2008 Summer Olympics, and over $58 billion to hold the 2010 World Exposition, said Tom Myers, Chief of Public Affairs and General Counsel for AIDS Healthcare Foundation and who is based in Washington. “China is a wealthy country that can pay for its own health care needs and it can certainly step up and contribute more to the Global Fund.”
“Chinese-owned assets in Africa now amount to over $16 billion,” said Dr. Penninah Iutung Amor, Africa Bureau Chief for AHF and who is based in Uganda. “China is Africa’s largest trading partner, with a total trade volume of $198 billion. It is quite clear that China derives substantial wealth from the continent hardest hit by AIDS; we believe that China should also share the financial responsibility in helping to stem the epidemic and save millions of lives by contributing more substantially to the Global Fund.”
“So far China has contributed a total of just $25 million to the Global Fund since its inception, while Germany and Japan, the third and fourth largest economies in the world respectively, have contributed a combined total of $3.5 billion,” said Omonigho Ufomata, Director of Global Advocacy & Policy for AHF who is based in Washington and a native of Nigeria. “If it aspires to be recognized as an economic and political leader on the world stage, China should now prioritize humanitarian global health issues and assume the role of a donor. We strongly encourage China to demonstrate its commitment to global health by donating $1 billion to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.”
“The Chinese government should be showing more leadership on HIV/AIDS than it has over the past decade and it should be shouldering far greater financial responsibility in helping to combat the global AIDS epidemic,” said Michael Weinstein, President of AIDS Healthcare Foundation in a statement.
AHF Spurs Previous Efforts to Get China to Increase Support for the Global Fund
In September 2010, as a Global Fund Replenishment Conference convened in New York, six US Senators—at the request of AHF advocates—sent a letter to Secretary of State Hilary Clinton urging the US to call on China to step up its funding commitment on Global AIDS. At that time, the world’s second-largest economy had received nearly $1 billion from the Global Fund over the previous eight years of the Fund’s existence, but has contributed just $16 million.
In their letter, dated September 30, 2010 Senators John Barrasso (WY), John Cornyn (TX), Mike Crapo (ID), James M. Inhofe (OK) Mike Johanns (NE) and James E. Risch (ID) asked Secretary Clinton that the US, “…push for accountability of Global Fund money to ensure that U.S. contributions do not fund wealthy public health programs in countries with substantial resources.” The letter also noted that, “… each dollar of Global Fund money that goes to China, or other countries with large cash reserves, deprives poor countries of critically needed medicines,” and that “…over the last eight years, China has been one of the largest recipients of Global Fund monies, receiving almost one billion dollars in grants, but contributing less than $16 million.”