G8 must keep Aids promise

Civil society organisations from around the world on Wednesday made a coordinated appeal to the Canadian government to help pressure the Group of Eight (G8) into fulfilling its aid commitments in the fight against Aids.

Five years ago, G8 countries agreed to set aside $130-billion for the fight against Aids, but recent estimates show members are on track to disburse only $107-billion.

The World Aids Campaign, a global coalition of civil society groups, is calling for the G8 to agree to a concrete, time-bound plan to achieve universal access to HIV and Aids prevention, treatment, care and support. It is also calling for commitments to replenish the Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

In June Canada will host the G8 and G20 summits and civil society groups are hoping the country will use its influence as host nation to “set the agenda” and reinvigorate commitments made by the G8 at the Gleneagles Summit of 2005.

“Most governments, after 1995, did not come up with concrete interventions. What we want to see is an approach that is more practical,” said Daniel Molokele, Africa programme officer for the World Aids Campaign.

Molokele said the organisation is not as concerned with the funding shortfall as it is with the lack of planning around the use and disbursement of funds for the Aids struggle or a review mechanism by which to gauge the impact of those funds.

“For us it’s not about figures, it’s about a concrete, time-bound plan — We’re not seeing an office or a secretariat where you can knock at the door and say ‘What’s happening’? We need to be able to hold people accountable,” he said.

Molokele stressed that both donor countries—including those in Africa—and recipients of donor funds need to be held accountable for money earmarked for Aids care and prevention.

“Our message is very clear: keep the promise now.”

There are 33-million people living with HIV and Aids today, 67% of them in sub-Saharan Africa. Despite efforts to curb the spread of the disease, there were 2,7-million new infections in 2008.

Faranaaz Parker

Faranaaz Parker

Faranaaz Parker is a reporter for the Mail & Guardian. She writes on everything from pop science to public health, and believes South Africa needs carbon taxes and more raging feminists. When she isn't instagramming pictures of her toddler or obsessively checking her Twitter, she plays third-person shooters on Xbox Live. Read more from Faranaaz Parker

Client Media Releases

Durban team reaches Enactus World Cup semi-finals
IIE Rosebank College opens campus in Cape Town
Pharmacen makes strides in 3D research for a better life for all
UKZN neurosurgeon on a mission to treat movement disorders
Teraco achieves global top 3 data centre ranking
ContinuitySA's Willem Olivier scoops BCI award
MBDA to host first Eastern Cape Fashion and Design Council
Sanral puts out N2/N3 tenders worth billions
EPBCS lives up to expectations
The benefit of unpacking your payslip