Wealthy Governments Should Sustain Commitment to Development Assistance Targets, Opinion Piece Says
As the new year begins, "it is well to remember the importance of keeping the promise to help developing countries fight AIDS and build stronger health systems," former U.S. President Clinton, founder of the William J. Clinton Foundation, and Philippe Douste-Blazy, chair of UNITAID and special advisor to the United Nations' secretary general on innovative financing for development, write in an International Herald-Tribune opinion piece.
They write that development aid is "good economic policy," adding that successes in reducing disease burden provide "lessons in what aid can save and a reminder that we should define investments in development assistance by their long-term return, not their short-term cost." According to the authors, partnerships between governments and nongovernmental organizations, "do[ing] more while spending less," and innovative research and development have made possible the "remarkable progress" in treatments for HIV/AIDS and other diseases possible.
Clinton and Douste-Blazy add "[w]e know what works, but we still have much to do," as the number of new HIV infections "continues to outstrip the pace at which we reach people with treatment." In addition, Clinton and Douste-Blazy say, "Much of the capacity needed to deliver health care still needs to be built." They write that "wealthy governments must do their part by meeting the ambitious development assistance targets they themselves set," noting that the "engine of change for any government is the will of its citizens" (Clinton/Douste-Blazy, International Herald-Tribune, 1/2).