UNITAID Has Raised $2B Through Airline Tax Since 2006, Could Be Model For G20 Development Funding, UNITAID Chair Says

UNITAID, an international drug financing program established to help fight HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria in developing countries, has raised about $2 billion since 2006 through taxes on airline tickets in 15 countries, Philippe Douste-Blazy, chair of the UNITAID executive board, told reporters in Washington on Wednesday, Agence France-Presse reports. According to Douste-Blazy, UNITAID’s experience could provide a model for G20 development funding efforts.

The former French foreign minister described UNITAID’s funding mechanism as “painless” and “a way to find new sources of finance for development.”

“With the financial crisis we are going to see a decline of ODA (official development aid),” Douste-Blazy said. The G20 November meeting “is the opportunity to have 2011 as the year of innovative financing,” he said. “According to his calculations, a simple tax of 0.05 percent on foreign exchange transactions between banks could yield as much as $120 billion per year. A variable tobacco tax ranging from one to five cents a pack could raise $8 billion, he said,” AFP reports.

Douste-Blazy also told reporters that he hopes to persuade China to join UNITAID when he visits the country in June (4/20).

The KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report summarized news and information on global health policy from hundreds of sources, from May 2009 through December 2020. All summaries are archived and available via search.

KFF Headquarters: 185 Berry St., Suite 2000, San Francisco, CA 94107 | Phone 650-854-9400
Washington Offices and Barbara Jordan Conference Center: 1330 G Street, NW, Washington, DC 20005 | Phone 202-347-5270

www.kff.org | Email Alerts: kff.org/email | facebook.com/KFF | twitter.com/kff

The independent source for health policy research, polling, and news, KFF is a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco, California.