Donors Disproportionately Give More Money for Iraq Than Money to Fight Poverty, AIDS
October 29, 2003
International donors have been "disproportionately generous" in their contributions to the reconstruction of Iraq compared with their contributions to fight poverty and AIDS, development and AIDS officials say, the AP/ABCNews.com reports. The $33 billion pledged to Iraq over the next four years, including $20 billion pledged by the United States, is more than 10 times the $2.8 billion in total annual funding for the U.N. Development Program, which provides aid to all underdeveloped nations. In addition, the amount is nearly 10 times the total pledges to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, according to the AP/ABCNews.com. President Bush for fiscal year 2004 has requested $20 billion for Iraq's reconstruction and $2 billion for the U.S. global AIDS initiative, $1 billion less than was authorized by Congress. Development agencies in developing countries are worried that the money donated to Iraq's reconstruction could "erode resources" needed in other countries, according to the AP/ABCNews.com. At least 42 million people worldwide are HIV-positive, and more than 20 million have died of AIDS-related illnesses, according to the World Health Organization. In Iraq, which is a middle-income country with major oil reserves, there are a total of 25 million people. "I don't deny that Iraqis are under stress and numbers of them are dying tragically. But I am forced to point out that more than two million Africans are dying of AIDS every year, and their poverty is vastly more wretched," Stephen Lewis, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan's special envoy for AIDS in Africa, said, adding that the situation in Iraq "shouldn't eclipse everything else." However, Bush has said that rebuilding Iraq is crucial to fostering democracy and stability in the Middle East (Borst, AP/Richmond Times-Dispatch, 10/29).
This article was provided by Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. It is a part of the publication Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report. Visit the Kaiser Family Foundation's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.