Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report Summarizes Editorials on Funding for Global Fund
Ambassador Randall Tobias, head of the State Department's Office of the Global AIDS Coordinator, last week said he will extend a federal deadline for other countries to contribute to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria to ensure that the United States can supply the maximum amount authorized by Congress for the fund. Congress authorized $547 million for the fund for fiscal year 2004. However, the bill (HR 1298) authorizing the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief stipulates that the total U.S. contribution to the fund cannot exceed 33% of total contributions. Under the requirement, other donors would have to contribute a total of $1.11 billion to the fund for the United States to provide all $547 million. Because the Global Fund was $243 million short of the $1.11 billion by the previous July 31 deadline, the United States only would be able to contribute $427 million and would roll the remaining $120 million back into the PEPFAR budget. However, Tobias announced that he intends to hold the $120 million until Sept. 30 -- the end of the federal fiscal year -- to give other countries and donors more time to contribute the additional $243 million to the Global Fund (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 8/19).
Kansas City Star: "These are difficult economic times for many governments, and some have given all they can," but Tobias "made the right call" in giving other countries more time to contribute to the Global Fund because "[n]o one can dispute the horrific effect AIDS is having on a number of countries," a Star editorial says. "The United States has made an important contribution to fighting AIDS; it's important that the rest of the world makes the most of it," the editorial concludes (Kansas City Star, 8/24).
- Minneapolis Star Tribune: The Global Fund is the "world's most effective AIDS-fighting vehicle" because it "pools all the world's resources and insists that all parties in an AIDS-afflicted country -- medical, religious, nonprofit, government -- get together to coordinate tactics," a Star Tribune editorial says. However, the fund's "cupboards have always been close to bare," and "[w]hat was grim is now looking grimmer" because of the "silly stipulation" that the U.S. contribution be no more than 33% of total donations, the editorial says, concluding, "As the world's wealthiest nation, there's no question the United States must invest in the AIDS fight far more generously ... [a]nd if others are failing to come through, it hardly makes sense for America to falter in their wake" (Minneapolis Star Tribune, 8/24).
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