Wealthy Nations Should Meet Commitments Made to Developing Countries, Global Fund Executive Director Kazatchkine Says
Wealthy nations should meet their commitments to help developing countries despite the slowing global economy, Michel Kazatchkine -- executive director of the Global Fund To Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria -- said on Tuesday, Reuters reports. Kazatchkine was in Brussels to meet with European Union development ministers ahead of the Group of Eight industrialized nations summit next month in Japan. According to Reuters, the Global Fund at the summit plans to call on leaders from wealthy nations to meet pledges regarding aid to developing countries.
Although Kazatchkine said that that Global Fund has not yet "felt the pinch" from the recent economic decline or increasing energy and other prices, he added that he is "very concerned" the situation might affect future pledges to organizations such as the Global Fund. "Maybe it is a little too early to see the true consequences of the global downturn," he said, adding, "But I am truly concerned, and the world should be concerned about how we can meet our development goals."
According to Kazatchkine, the Global Fund's "message to the G8 is about keeping with the commitments." He added, "The G8 agreed to having an annual review on where they stand with their commitments and where they should go, notably in health." The Global Fund also aims to relay to the G8 that "investment in health is paying off, with less mortality, and we are seeing spectacular results in all these areas," Kazatchkine said, adding, "Sustainability is the key to solving this problem long term. We have seen a drop-off in pledges going into the long term, so we will also be sending a message that we need long-term financial backing if we are to achieve what we set out to do" (Ennis, Reuters, 5/27).