U.N. Special Envoy for AIDS Lewis Urges Private Sector To Contribute More Money To Global Fund
U.N. Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa Stephen Lewis on Monday at a regional meeting of the Global Fund To Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria in Kigali, Rwanda, said private sector firms operating in Africa need to donate more money to the fund to fight the epidemic there, Agence France-Presse reports. Lewis said that multinational oil, mineral and diamond companies, as well as pharmaceutical companies, operating in Africa could raise billions of dollars for the fund over the next 10 years by donating 0.7% of pre-tax profits (Agence France-Presse, 11/29). Lewis said, "If the funds are not there, you compromise treatment, care and prevention, and compromising these means compromising millions of lives on the African continent." He added that the lack of donations is causing countries, including many in sub-Saharan Africa, to ask for less funding. "We are on the knife's edge," Lewis said, adding, "This is a tremendous opportunity for a breakthrough if we can sustain the treatment and prevention, but the lack of funds will grossly affect these programs" (Asiimwe, Reuters, 11/28). Richard Feachem, executive director of the Global Fund, has said the fund needs $3.3 billion more in pledges to meet its 2006 and 2007 goals. According to Feachem, the Global Fund has received $3.8 billion of the $7.1 billion needed to implement its programs over the next two years (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 11/22).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.