Socialist Worker

Funding gap will have devastating effects

by Mary Oredi in Kenya
Issue No. 1969

I know many people were uplifted by the agreement at the UN summit of a “Responsibility to Protect” citizens against genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity.

Who decides when this operates?

It would have been very easy for George Bush and Tony Blair to say the invasion of Iraq was justified by this clause, or to hit any number of other regimes on this basis.

It would have been far more powerful if there had been curbs on the arms trade to brutal regimes, but that would have got in the way of profits.

If you want to know Bush and Blair’s real agenda, look at the recent shortfall in money pledged for the Global Fund to Fight HIV, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

The $3.7 billion pledged by donors will be just enough to sustain current programmes.

However there is no funding for new prevention, treatment or care programmes for 2006 and 2007. Over $7 billion was needed to adequately address funding needs.

The US contribution was just $0.6 billion for the next two years. It spends over $1 billion a day on the military.

The funding gap will have devastating effects in many African communities in depriving poor women, men and children from the hope of accessing life saving prevention and treatment services.

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