World Leaders’ Failure To Pledge $5B Per Year To Global Fund ‘Absurd’

“The world as a whole didn’t come up with a measly $5 billion a year for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria. $5 billion was a bare minimum needed to maintain momentum in the fight against these diseases,” Jeffrey Sachs, director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, writes in the Huffington Post “World” blog, adding, “The world has told the poor and dying to drop dead.” “They came up with $4 billion instead, $1 billion short,” and “the powers that be are calling the outcome just great,” he writes. “Yet anybody in finance, macroeconomics, corporate or national budgets, or just about any big business knows how absurd it is that the world as a whole can’t manage to find the $5 billion,” Sachs says, adding, “It’s not that anybody claimed that the Global Fund isn’t doing its job, saving millions of lives each year. It’s not that anybody claimed that the money is just not needed. They just claimed that it’s not a convenient time, tight budgets and all the rest.” He outlines “some of the things that that extra $1 billion represents,” such as “roughly 14 hours of Pentagon spending” or “five percent of the Christmas bonuses on Wall Street,” among others (12/4).