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Commentary & Opinion
Opinion: International Community Must Continue to Fund Efforts to Stop Spread of Infectious Diseases

January 30, 2013

Writing in the Huffington Post's "The Big Push" blog, Dirk Niebel, Germany's federal minister of economic cooperation and development, discusses "why Germany announced [last] week that it is committing one billion euros over five years to the Global Fund." Niebel provides a number of global disease statistics and writes, "We need to continue to devote hard work and determined efforts to halting the spread of HIV, malaria and other infectious diseases."

"[T]he latest UNAIDS figures on the HIV epidemic give us hope," Niebel says, adding, "I think we are witnessing the beginning of the end of AIDS. This is an achievement, not least, of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria." However, he writes, "[T]he international community must not let up in its efforts now that this goal is almost within our grasp." He notes, "Over the past 10 years, Germany has tripled its funding for health in developing countries, bringing it to about 750 million euros a year," and he concludes, "[H]ealth is a vital prerequisite for human development. Even more: It is a human right" (1/25).

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