Sachs Calls for Establishment of ‘Global Trust Fund’ with Increased U.S. Contributions to Fight AIDS
Building on a Harvard Center for International Development proposal that calls for about $1 billion in initial funding to provide HIV-positive Africans with antiretroviral medications and recommends that an additional $3 billion a year go toward prevention and treatment programs other than antiretroviral therapy, center Director Jeffrey Sachs calls on President Bush and Congress to add $1.5 billion to this year's budget for programs aimed at fighting AIDS in Africa. In a Washington Post op-ed, Sachs calls the Senate's approval last week of $700 million in such funds over the next two years an "important start but not yet enough" and writes that the United States should allocate $1.5 billion in a "global trust fund," which would be "augmented" by $3 billion in European and Japanese donations. While Sachs concedes that "[m]any Americans ... are skeptical about the effectiveness of foreign aid," he states that American assistance in this area "would translate into dramatic, rapid and easily observable benefits" for the people of sub-Saharan Africa. He concludes, "The biggest risk is not coldheartedness on the part of the Bush administration or Congress but simple inattention as Congress and the president wrangle over our fiscal future. There is also a nagging but mistaken doubt in political circles that AIDS is just too big and costly to address. It's time for these doubts to be put to rest by the evidence" (Sachs, Washington Post, 4/7).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.