“Fund the Fund” advocates from AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) and other partner organizations gathered at the Chinese Embassy in Washington D.C. on Jan. 28 to protest China’s failure to donate their fair share to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
During the Fund’s most recent Replenishment Round last September, donor countries and organizations assembled in Canada to pledge their contributions for the next three years. The target goal was $13 billion, which was mostly met as pledges totaled $12.9 billion. However, due to various adjustments the actual amount available for disbursements will be close to $10 billion.
Unfortunately, China — which boasts the world’s second largest economy — was a virtual no-show, pledging a mere $18 million and jeopardizing the Global Fund’s initiative to save 8 million lives by 2020. The advocates are calling on China to increase its three-year contribution to $1 billion.
For perspective, Japan’s economy is less than half of China’s, yet it pledged $800 million. Germany also far surpassed the Asian superpower with a pledge of 800 million euros.
John Hassell, AHF’s National Director of Advocacy, was part of the team that held the demonstration. He made it clear that this will not be a one-time event.
“AHF doesn’t go away after one demonstration. We’ll continue to demonstrate at China’s embassies and consulates all over the world,” Hassell said.
AHF’s advocates and volunteers bring attention to this critical void in funding that may only be rectified through sustained public pressure on countries like China for not doing their part to “Fund the Fund.”
“As they [China] try to establish leadership positions around the world, yet continue to engage with African economies in pursuit of their resources, they can’t be considered a leader in the international community until they have given the Global Fund at least 1 billion dollars,” Hassell said.
The demonstration kicks off a series of grassroots advocacy events around the world, which will be part of the “Fund the Fund” campaign in 2017.