WASHINGTON (October 23, 2013)—In conjunction with more than a dozen AIDS protests taking place worldwide this week targeting China for its tepid financial support of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria, AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS organization, is running an advocacy ad in the print and online editions of The Wall Street Journal-Asia and Politico and Politico.com urging China to dramatically increase its support of the Fund. The protests and WSJ and Politico ads have been timed to take place in advance of the next Global Fund Pledging Meeting (which takes place every three years), which takes place December 3rd in Washington.
The ‘China, Be Generous-Pledge $1 Billion to the Global Fund’ advocacy ad will run on Thursday, October 24th in the print and online editions of the Wall Street Journal’s Asia edition as well as in print in Politico (and on Politico.com).
“As the world’s second largest economy, China clearly has the resources to contribute far more to the Global Fund and the worldwide fight against AIDS,” said Michael Weinstein, President of AIDS Healthcare Foundation. “That is why we spearheaded these protests around the globe and are running the ‘China, Be Generous’ ad in major media outlets. It’s time China stepped up and contributed in a meaningful way to the Global Fund and pay its fair share.”
The Global Fund is a program funded by wealthy nations that is designed to provide financial assistance to developing countries that lack the resources to fight diseases and build up medical infrastructures. Since the founding of the Global Fund in 2002, China has contributed a mere $25 million to the program, while countries with far smaller economies, such as Japan and Germany have contributed a combined total of over $3.5 billion. [China/Global Fund fact sheet]
Between October 23 and October 25, protests will take place (or have taken place) in front of the Chinese Embassy in Washington, DC and its consulates in four other US cities: New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco & Houston, as well as in a dozen foreign countries (LATIN AMERICA—Mexico, Argentina, Peru, Guatemala; AFRICA—Kenya, South Africa, Uganda, Zambia; ASIA—Cambodia, India; EUROPE—Netherlands, Ukraine). At the protests, AIDS advocates will carry banners and signs reading “China, Pay Your Fair Share on Global AIDS!” in both English and Chinese and “China, Be Generous, Pledge $1 Billion to the Global Fund.”
“Beyond that, China should contribute because it is the right thing to do,” said Terri Ford, Chief of Global Advocacy and Policy for AIDS Healthcare Foundation. “A contribution of one billion dollars that we are asking them to make would amount to just one percent of what China spent on the 2008 Olympics and the 2010 Shanghai World Expo—money that would go a long way toward providing lifesaving treatment and care to millions of people the Global Fund serves.”
AHF spearheaded similar protests targeting China in 2010. Over the ten years prior, China—the world’s second largest economy—received nearly $1 billion ($940M) from the Fund (and up to that point had contributed just $16 million). Over those same years, the United States contributed $5.1 billion to the Fund—more than 28 percent of all contributions to the Fund.
“Since our initial China Global Fund protests back in 2010, the Chinese government—at one time one of the largest recipients of Global Fund money—has at least stopped taking money from the Fund,” added AHF’s Weinstein. “Fortunately, that money can now go to countries in desperate need but that have far fewer resources. However, we still believe that the Chinese government should be showing greater leadership on HIV/AIDS and it should be shouldering far greater financial responsibility in helping to combat the global AIDS epidemic.”