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Old 02-25-2004, 08:58 PM   #1
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Australian Contribution to the Global Fund

Forgive me if this is old news, but The Australian Government, has very recently (February 18) announced a first contribution to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis (TB) and Malaria.

The Australian Government has committed to contribute $25 million over the next three years to the Global Fund.

Many thanks to all those supporters who recently wrote to Foreign Minister Downer - your letters had an impact.

While this is great news, the contribution is much less than it should be.

You can help put pressure on Australia to meet its international
obligations to the Global Fund by writing to the Prime Minister, John Howard, and the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Alexander Downer, expressing your support for an increased Australian contribution.

You can email the Prime Minister via his website at:

http://www.pm.gov.au/email.cfm

You can email Foreign Minister Downer at:

a.downer.MP@aph.gov.au or

minister.downer@dfat.gov.au



DRAFT LETTER RE: GLOBAL FUND

Dear Prime Minister OR Minister,

I am writing to you to welcome your pledge to contribute to the Global
Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. However I am very
concerned that the Australian Government contribution is much less than
what it should be, based on the size of the Australian economy.
According to the Fund's projected needs for 2004 and 2005, Australia's
fair share would be $32 million for 2004 and $72 million in 2005. Even
considering our bilateral and regional aid program, the current pledge
by Australia does not go far enough in meeting our international
obligations to the UN Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS and the
Millennium Development Goals.

Each year 7 million people die from HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria and the
Australian Government can and should do better. While I am glad that
Australia has pledged to make a contribution, so much more is needed if
the Fund is to reach its full potential. The pledge of the Netherlands
to the Global Fund for 2004 is more than eight times the Australian
Government contribution despite Australia and the Netherlands being
similar sized economies. Shortfalls in funding will ultimately result
in more lives being lost and billions of dollars in additional costs in
the future to respond to these escalating epidemics.

I urge the Australian Government to increase its pledged contribution to
the Global Fund to $32million in 2004 and $72 million in 2005 as soon as
possible - and raise its contributions in future years in proportion to
the Fund's increasing needs. Such a contribution will help ensure that
the Global Fund can continue to make an impact on these diseases and
show the international community that Australia is serious about
matching its promises with its purse strings.

Yours sincerely,


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Old 02-26-2004, 12:35 AM   #2
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$25 million is a good start, and you are right it is not enough. Sadly it is never enough. I've never been sure of my opinion on Downer but I'm tempted to email.
Honestly, how successful are such emails? Obviously no one will read through X amount if the number sent is very large and Downer himself is not going to sift through them personally.
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Old 02-26-2004, 12:57 PM   #3
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yes is indeed a start but dont let the pressure up to do more



Cheers
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Old 02-26-2004, 02:13 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by Angela Harlem
Honestly, how successful are such emails? Obviously no one will read through X amount if the number sent is very large and Downer himself is not going to sift through them personally.
My opinion from the campaign work I've been involved in is that emails are effective, but if you have the time to send a letter then that's likely to have a greater impact. Of course it's still worth sending the emails and they're great for a very short-term immediate campaign, but if it's an issue you feel really strongly about then it's worth it if you can manage to send a snail-mail letter instead.
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Old 02-26-2004, 08:38 PM   #5
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Well, I don't know if it is true or not, but a guy that worked for The Australian Conservation Foundation told me that for each letter (email?) sent, they count it as 100 people. This is because for every 100 people that have the same opinion, only one person will go so far as to write.

I also don't think it would be necessary for each email to be read in full, nor for Downer or Howard to actually read the messages personally. I would imagine that someone else (secretary even?) reads the message, or part there of, and sums up the details ie "You received 14 emails today about contributions to the Global Fund."

Besides, I think all of these things are far more about myself than they are about anything else. At least I know I have tried to do my bit to help the situation. Where that ends up I have no control over, but at least I will feel a little better about it. If it has other positive outcomes, that is even more of a bonus!
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