UNITAID Director Urges Japan To Implement Levies To Support Organization

Denis Broun, executive director of UNITAID, on Tuesday urged Japan “to introduce a so-called ‘solidarity levy,’ such as a small tax on airline ticket purchases,” to help support the organization’s goal of improving “access in low-income countries to diagnostics and treatments for HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis,” Kyodo News International/GlobalPost reports. He “told a press conference in Tokyo that the levy would serve to supplement Japan’s official development assistance budget, which has been shrinking due to the nation’s tight fiscal situation,” according to the news agency. “UNITAID first asked for Japan’s support in 2010 and the government and lawmakers have since shown better understanding of the levy, Broun said,” the news agency writes, adding, “UNITAID has 29 member countries, with about 70 percent of its funding coming from air ticket levies” (10/8).