A group of AIDS patients, doctors and advocates from around the world affiliated with AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) targeted China last week for its misuse of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and stepped up a demand that China contributes $1 billion to the Fund for the worldwide fight against AIDS during a press conference at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.
The group, all of whom are treatment clients, global team members, or medical health care providers of AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), which provides AIDS medical care to more than 200,000 individuals in 28 countries worldwide, lobbied members of the House Foreign Affairs and Senate Foreign Relations Committees to ensure that funding for PEPFAR’s lifesaving efforts continue at appropriate levels and to urge legislators to demand accountability so that PEPFAR countries operate their AIDS treatment programs in the most cost effective ways by reducing the amount permitted to be spent on overhead and bureaucracy.
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.”
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.”
Dr. Penninah Iutung Amor, Africa Bureau Chief for AHF
“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.