Washington Protest Friday, October 25
WASHINGTON (October 24, 2013)—AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS organization, is spearheading a series of US and global protests targeting the Government of the People’s Republic of China to demand that it step up its commitment on global AIDS and pledge one billion dollars to Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria. Between October 23 and October 25, protests will take 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.
Friday October 25, 2013
WASHINGTON, DC—China Global Fund Protest
When: Friday, October 25, 2013
Time: 1:00 – 1:30 PM (Eastern Time)
Where: The Embassy of the People’s Republic of China
3505 International Place, NW, Washington D.C. 20008
Contact: Tim Boyd (213) 590-7375 Cell
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]
“China benefits from Africa’s natural resources, but does little to address the HIV/AIDS crisis in Africa or elsewhere,” said Tim Boyd, Director of Domestic Policy for AIDS Healthcare Foundation, who is coordinating the Washington, DC protest. “It has invested billions of dollars in Africa, mostly on infrastructure projects that are developed and built by the Chinese. 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.”
“China also benefits greatly from labor and resources of neighboring countries throughout Asia, many of which are still struggling with AIDS,” said Barbara Chinn, Senior Program Manager for AIDS Healthcare Foundation’s Public Health Division–Southern Bureau who is also coordinating the Washington, DC protest. “Nearly fifty-five percent of people in the Asia-Pacific region don’t have access to lifesaving antiretroviral treatment. It’s time China contributed in a meaningful way to the Global Fund and paid its fair share.”
“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 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,” said Michael Weinstein, President of AIDS Healthcare Foundation. “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. Through these worldwide protests, we are saying, ‘China, Pay Your Fair Share on Global AIDS!’ ”
“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, who is based in Washington. “China is a wealthy country and can pay for its own health care needs.”
AHF to Run Newspaper Advocacy Ads Targeting China in WSJ Asia and in Politico
In conjunction with the worldwide protests AHF is spearheading, AHF will also run a ‘China, Be Generous-Pledge $1 Billion to the Global Fund’ advocacy ad in the print and online edition of the Wall Street Journal’s Asia edition as well as in print in Politico (and on Politico.com) urging increased Chinese support for the Global Fund. The ad is set to run Thursday, October 24th in conjunction with the protests around the globe.