The British government stands accused of breaking its G8 pledge to help defeat Aids after it revealed it would only marginally increase its contribution to the Global Fund for Aids, Malaria and Tuberculosis.
The International Development Secretary, Douglas Alexander, promised £1-billion over the next eight years to the fund, but campaigners said this fell far short of the G8 pledge to treble contributions by 2010.
“This is only £125-million a year. Currently the United Kingdom gives £100-million a year,” said Steve Cockburn, of the Stop Aids campaign. “It is astonishing how quickly promises become meaningless. In June the G8 promised to treble the size of the Global Fund by 2010, in order to tackle three diseases that kill six million people each year.”
Campaigners, who include Oxfam and Action Aid as well as United States groups, are concerned that the low offer from the UK will have an impact on the generosity of other European nations. The US undertakes to provide a third of the money for the Global Fund — an amount that rises or falls according to other countries’ contributions. Campaigners had called on Britain to give £700-million over the next three years.
UNAids raised the bar again in a report that concludes that available resources for HIV/Aids must more than quadruple from their 2007 level if the world is to achieve the goal set by the G8 of universal access to treatment for all. About $42,2-billion will be needed by 2010, it says, rising to $54-billion by 2015.