Monday, September 12, 2005

Hail to the chiseler

Last week NGOs Oxfam, ActionAid and Christian Aid reported the US was reneging on its promised contribution to the Global Fund for HIV, TB and Malaria. The US is contributing just $600 million of its $2.3 billion target of a third of the needed $7 billion.
David Bryden of US based Global AIDS Alliance said: 'The world was counting on the United States. President Bush made an important commitment to funding one third of the Fund. By breaking that promise Bush is letting down the most vulnerable people in the world. If his commitment to Africa is real, then words are not enough.'

Judith Melby of Christian Aid, part of the MakePovertyHistory campaign, said: 'Where is the urgency among major donors? We are disappointed that they have not used this opportunity to take a robust approach to making the G8’s historic promise of ensuring universal access to HIV treatment a reality by 2010.'
The shortfall in donor contributions means there is just enough to maintain the current programs, but nothing for new prevention, treatment or care in 2006 and 2007. The hardest hit countries cannot develop the needed infrastructure, personnel and prevention programs. The UK has dramatically increased its share, while the other developed countries have more or less met their targets. It is the US that has welshed on its promise. So its not just the poverty stricken folks in the Gulf that Bush and the Congress left in the lurch this week.

How to describe this? Shall we have a contest for the most apt word? I'll start it off with some that come to mind: detestable, despicable, odious.