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MDG Summit: Funding The Global Fund; Arab World’s ‘Own Challenges’

BusinessDay reports that following last week’s Millennium Development Goal (MDG) summit at the U.N. in New York, advocates “have called on rich nations to double their pledges to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis (TB) and Malaria, saying it desperately needs more money if the world is to meet the health-related Millennium Development Goals by 2015.” According to the article, the advocates are concerned that the $40 billion maternal and child health initiative announced by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon last week at the summit “might divert money and attention from the Global Fund.”

“We are delighted that the world has woken up to the fact that efforts to tackle child mortality and maternal health are off track – but politicians are making a grave and foolish error if they think they can deal with this at the expense of the fight against HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria,” Rachel Ong of the Global Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS said. “Maternal health and child mortality goals have no place being pitted in competition with action to tackle AIDS, TB and malaria,” she added.

Next month at its replenishment meeting, the Global Fund hopes to secure “resources for the next three years, and has already said it needs” between $13 billion and $20 billion. Michel Kazatchkine, executive director of the Global Fund said, “It’s the year where we will know whether we will collectively reach or fail in our efforts to reach the MDGs. Despite the difficult global economic climate, we need long-standing donor countries to increase contributions to the Global Fund significantly, new donors to come … with pledges, and to expand our efforts to secure additional, innovative ways of funding international health efforts.”

BusinessDay reports that “[t]wo-thirds of all international funding for fighting malaria, TB and AIDS flows via the Global Fund, and many of its programmes support the health-related” MDGs. 

According to the article, Treatment Action Campaign’s Vuyiseka Dubula said, “The goal of universal access to (HIV/AIDS) treatment won’t be met without more money and human resources. The Global Fund has been the most successful funding international mechanism (for such programmes)” (Khan, 9/27).

Arab World Faces ‘Own Challenges’ In Achieving MDGs

According to Reuters, “the Arab world faces its own challenges” in reaching the MDGs, including “conflict, unemployment and insufficient aid.”

The article continues: “An assessment last month from the United Nations and the Arab League found the Arab world’s poorest nations, such as Yemen, and those mired in violent conflict, like Sudan, Iraq, Somalia and the Palestinian territories, were unlikely to meet the goals, which address poverty reduction, child mortality, disease and more. … The problem is most acute in those countries gripped by instability and violence, which can not only deter investment and spending but derail longer-term progress in health, education and even environmental protection” (Ryan, 9/25).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.