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Old 02-01-2004, 09:49 AM   #1
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2004 Measure of AIDS Spending

An opportunity for me to sound off here about the Aids spending and the 2.4 Bush has announced. And before anyone gets on the she is bashing the United States bandwagon I'm not doing that , I am simply bringing to the attention that what was promised was not done, not that it should be a suprise but that money that was promised is detremental to peoples lives. If I were to bash the United States it would mean disrespecting the efforts of so many people who care about this and work so hard to turn the tide on this Aids emergency and I would not negate their genuine efforts becasue it is because of them there is any money at all getting to Africa.

The question is not whether the United States or any nation or country is spending more than in previous years to fight AIDS; it is whether we are providing a fair contribution to a global effort that might actually get ahead of the advancing threat.The latest U.N. assessment is clear: We are not on track to provide
even what it terms a "bare-bones" response. So although it be nice to hear were doing something , it is a far cry from enough and there is no excuse in that something for what has to be done. So I am less concerned about hurting peoples feelings and more concerned about true results because there is nothing pretty about it and you can't tie it up in a yellow ribbion and say here you go 2.4 billion and aren't you lucky to get that.

In essence it was the opposition that wanted more funding to get through then the 2.4 billion and it was Bush's adminstration who fought them on that and the result of that is only a small amount of people promised life saving medicines are getting them.
Politics the games of politics happens in every country and everywhere and although I am aware of it and use to it. I am at a lost if I have to try and explain it to an aids orphan, a mother or father in Africa why the medicines are not getting to them, where the money is and why people are still playing politics with their lives
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Old 02-03-2004, 11:22 AM   #2
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it's very serious what you're saying, and that's why i have completely no trust in politicians. i love the people who do voluntary work, the people who give their own money, the ones who spend hours of their lives taking care of these unlucky souls. some politicians are making so much promises just to show their face as a beautiful image, like ones who are joking around with people's sentiments... i trust only in god and in people who ask themselves what they could do, instead of waiting that some selfish overpaid extrarich politician moves his ass
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Old 02-03-2004, 04:16 PM   #3
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at the end of the day you do everything you can.. sometimes the rest is out of your hands..
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Old 02-03-2004, 05:53 PM   #4
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Katey, I'm not trying to pay devil's advocate here, b/c this issue is something I too care deeply about, but one question that people have been asking me recently that so far I don't know the answer to is, are there currently government institutions or programs in Africa ready to receive, say 5 billion dollars? Two months ago the President of my college met with Bono in DC and this was his (Pres. Byker's) primary concern - that if tomorrow there was 5 billion dollars ready, is Africa ready to absorb that much money and will it be used most efficiently at this time?

I'm not trying to say that this is a good reason to avoid funding, or that this is Africa's problem to address, I'm just assuming that since you have more experience with this issue, you'd have a better answer.
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Old 02-03-2004, 07:37 PM   #5
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That is a concern of a lot of people and an argument that is made often that there is not the infrastructure in place to absorb the money, it goes along with the absorptive capacity argument as well How much money can Africa actually absorb. Research has proven that the poorest countries could absorb 8.2 billion in 2004 using existing infrastructure. Africa alone has the capacity to spend and absorb over 3.1 billion in 2004.

I think when people talk absorptive capacity they too often think inside the box of that being small corrupt governments and rural areas. The truth is in Africa almost 50% of all health care providers are outside government, they are missions, private hospitals etc so there is much more room to absorb then people believe then just these small governments. The Global fund thinks outside the box that way is able to get the money where it is needed It also uses a portion to along the way build capacity and train more health care workers etc.. etc...The bottom-line though that it is difficult to do when the money is not being directed to the Global Fund. People are still dying not because of lack of infrastructure but because the money is not there and the medicine is not there.

Quote:
According to UNAIDS , there is underutilized capacity to deliver antiretroviral (ARV) therapy in developing countries such that an additional 500,000 people could be on treatment tomorrow using capacity that existed as long ago as 2001. Current UNAIDS estimates of capacity are even higher, suggesting that nearly 2 million people in developing countries could be on lifesaving ARVs if there were an adequate commitment of resources, rather than the mere 300,000 currently receiving such treatmentĒ
I am not sure I answered your question exactly, I am not the smartest person to ask I guess, probably Bono might have a better sounding answer. But what I think is certainly there are still problems I wonít argue that. But you canít wait until they all get ironed out, we need to realise that sometimes too much time is wasted on putting an exact proper system into place while lives are at stake. There are so many faith-based organizations, NGOís and organizations like TAC (treatment action campaign) in Africa who have the capacity along with the African governments and so many other resources to absorb the money that is needed
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Old 02-03-2004, 08:02 PM   #6
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Can I ask a couple of questions too? I'm not hinting at anything or trying to be a smart arse, I'm sincere. Of this 2.4 bil, where would/will it go precisely? You said above that 50% (roughly) of healthcare provision is outside the govt. I've heard on average about 10-15% of funding is used up in administration costs. It's to be expected that some will be needed to keep these organisations going. What also of the rest of the services which are govt affiliated? Is it more viable to spread this sum over a few rather than the eggs all in one basket thing? I guess this might be a bit subjective, but I'd like to know what you or others think.
I guess that is more than a few questions lol, but I look at this and can't help but think if 2.4 bil is not enough, then even people with a good understanding could even underestimate the problem. Its almost unfathomable.
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Old 02-03-2004, 08:39 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by Katey
I am not sure I answered your question exactly, I am not the smartest person to ask I guess, probably Bono might have a better sounding answer.
No, it's good, that's what I was looking for. Now when people give me that Africa-is-too-corrupt-they-don't-know-what-to-do-with-the-money-anyway arguement I can say what you said, "Research has proven that the poorest countries could absorb 8.2 billion in 2004 using existing infrastructure. Africa alone has the capacity to spend and absorb over 3.1 billion in 2004..."

Thanks! I might post some other questions as I think of them....
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Old 02-03-2004, 08:52 PM   #8
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Originally posted by Angela Harlem
Is it more viable to spread this sum over a few rather than the eggs all in one basket thing?
I may be misinterpreting your question, and I don't claim to be any sort of expert on this stuff, most of what I know comes from a class I took (Politics of AIDS in Africa), but I'd just like to say one thing that maybe touches on this question and also brings up other questions that I have:

OK, say the US decided to give three African countries 5 billion dollars. Some people want all the money to go towards doling out treatments, but some people want all the money to go towards prevention programs like sex-ed in schools, TV campaigns, or women's groups that do skits on AIDS in public, and still other people want the money to go towards other things.... now, my question is, who gets what and who makes this decision? For example, say we push all the money towards prevention/education, this creates problems because people want treatment. Mothers with AIDS will pass it on to their babies before the baby even has a chance to learn about AIDS in school, and some people will live their lives without knowing that they even HAVE HIV because if there's no treatment available, why get tested and just find out you're dying? So now say we change our minds and push all the money towards treatment and bringing medication to Africa. The children will suffer in the future because they've lost the opportunity to learn about HIV and prevent themselves from getting it. So basically, I personally believe that there MUST be SOME combination of the two, but my new question is, who decides (or does anyone even know) what is best?

IMO 2.4 billion is nowhere NEAR enough and it's embarrassing considering Bill and Melinda Gates can give out 1 billion and they are just TWO people. I think I remember learning in class that 10 billion would have been a sufficient amount to really start tackling this problem.

Bono needs to start threatening the politicians again....
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Old 02-03-2004, 10:13 PM   #9
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Okay I will try and explain what I know and it isn't all that much compared to someone of the experts.. although from experience I can say it is rather boring to go to bed with world bank reports as Bono does (ha!.)

Well if we look at 2005 it is about 2.8 billion that the U.S has designated for programs to fight Global Aids for 2005 of that just 7% (200 million) will actually go to the Global Fund , that is a 63% cut from 2004 amount of about 550 million. The Global Fund needs about 3.5 billion in 2005 , the U.S contribution equals at to about 6% of that.. So the rest of that 2.8 (93%) billion will be allocated among US controlled bilateral programs.

Quote:
"The Global Fund is a unique global public-private partnership aimed at attracting and disbursing additional resources to prevent and treat AIDS, tuberculosis (TB) and malaria. This partnership between governments, civil society, the private sector and affected communities represents a new approach to international health financing. The Fund works in close collaboration with other bilateral and multilateral organizations as the increase in available funding is meant to supplement, not replace, existing efforts dealing with the three diseases".
As for where the money from the Global fund goes, it would depend on the grant . I can say in the past there was never a systematic global financing effort beside government, the global fund changes that.. I could be a little off on this but I believe about 50% of funding has gone to government resources and 40% to civil society which would include NGOís and faith based organizations. I think to that about 23% of funds are directed for human resources ( that would include training etc.. of healthcare workers etc..)

Iím not sure if that helps or not.. Sometimes I bable and don't make any sense.. I know it is easy to think when you hear 2.8 billion thats a lot of money... but really you have to look at where it is being directed .. what it is funding .. cause when you break it down although it's more then before.. it doesnt look that great..It's a games of politics what money goes where and thats coating people their lives in Africa.. The Global Fund has been in danger of going bankrupt , as the only UN multilateral backed effort we don't want that to happen.. thats not good

I think too... the American public needs to get on this.. you know Bono is great man I admire him so much for what he is doing here.. but at the end of the day the lad is still Irish .. he can meet with politicians and put the bug in their ear and be a pain in the ass about it .. but you guys hold the votes really they listen to you
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Old 02-05-2004, 01:16 PM   #10
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This is great! Thanks so much for the info. and taking the time to answer questions, etc. This will certainly help me at the voting poles and trying to figure out who is the lesser of two evils. I don't mean to be cynical or sarcastic, but I am in my forties and have completely lost faith in politics. Especially, our (America's) foregn policies.

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Old 02-05-2004, 03:44 PM   #11
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Great thread! I've said a lot on this already, so I won't do the broken record act on ya'll, but...just...great thread.

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Old 02-05-2004, 06:29 PM   #12
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Quote:
Great thread! I've said a lot on this already, so I won't do the broken record act on ya'll, but...just...great thread.
cheers.. you always do have great posts on this.. and i don't think you sound like a broken record.. but I do sometimes.. and sometimes my ability to spell leaves me all together (ha!!)
If I were going to go with one guy based on this issue ( keep in mind me not being american and not attached to any political party) It would be Wes Clark..
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Old 02-06-2004, 09:02 AM   #13
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Interesting Katey. Why Clark?

thanks, btw.

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Old 02-06-2004, 09:38 AM   #14
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Thanks LivLuv, and Katey of course
That first question I asked was not exactly clear. I was thinking more of where specifically would that money go. It does sound a lot, but it isn't and weirdly enough would be easy to fritter away without impacting too much on the crisis. I was thinking more of an organisational perspective. Spread it out so certain percentages go to X, Y and Z and have smaller results, or give the lot of it to one who has virtually sole control of distribution of the funds.
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Old 02-06-2004, 11:46 AM   #15
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Quote:
was thinking more of an organisational perspective. Spread it out so certain percentages go to X, Y and Z and have smaller results, or give the lot of it to one who has virtually sole control of distribution of the funds.
Ya it is hard for me to say for each orgainization.. I could go into a few details wih some i know of but it would take up more room thenI can write here .. you can e-mail me at kate@interference.com, maybe I can answer that better.

I would say generally 25% to human resources as a rule but it could vary it could be 14% it would depend on the grant proposal.

I am not sure exactly what you mean .. do you mean to the actual organizations that get the funding or are you talking distrubuting through different funds.. Because ther are many funding agencies out there .. they all work different and have different goals.


Wes Clark only becasue he to me although many say the same thing.. this man has experience and the knowledge of these issues.. and he knows of which he speaks ..
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