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Old 07-05-2002, 11:49 AM   #1
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News from the 14th International AIDS Conference

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/articl.../05/MNAIDS.DTL

This is some of the best news I've seen in a while about this topic but I'm having a hard time reading between the lines . . . who is putting up the money? Is it the Bill and Melinda Gates Gates Foundation and Kaiser? Who manages the effort to get the money spent wisely and effectively? Who votes on whether the money get approved? I'm only throwing out the questions for discussion. I'm not sure if they are answerable at this point.

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Old 07-05-2002, 02:21 PM   #2
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well there gonna be lobbying governments of the world for the money, i'm sure there is a sizable chunk already confirmed from the Gates' but they aren't gonna release that so as to strengthen the lobbying effort.
4.8 billion. that is a drop in the bucket for the biggest economies.
it will be interesting what kind of press this conference gets as african aid has also drawn a good portion of press. i think the populous is beginning to see the inter-relational nature of all these issues and beginning to see the urgency. the amount of support garnered will, of course, be proportional to the amount of press it gets.
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Old 07-05-2002, 10:04 PM   #3
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finally some good news!
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Old 07-06-2002, 07:51 PM   #4
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This is a step in the right direction...but only a step. There is a long road to fight.



Aids eradication can become a reality just like we did smallpox. But Aids is a more complex problem in that it takes more than a vaccine...it takes education. But...we need a global iniative with even more zeal than smallpox was pursued with.



It can happen...if we're willing to make it happen
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Old 07-06-2002, 10:05 PM   #5
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Unfortunately, I cannot say that there is much hope for those already with AIDS. The reality is that we have never cured a virus, let alone AIDS, which is remarkably versatile. It all stems from the reality that viruses are very small, often hiding in crevices too small for drug molecules to enter. The brain is also a problem, as drugs often cannot break through the blood-brain barrier.

Vaccines, indeed, are our only hope, and, from what I've heard, there is a promising vaccine in testing currently. I certainly hope and believe that we can, indeed, conquer this, just as we conquered smallpox.

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Old 07-07-2002, 08:38 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by melon
Unfortunately, I cannot say that there is much hope for those already with AIDS. The reality is that we have never cured a virus, let alone AIDS, which is remarkably versatile. It all stems from the reality that viruses are very small, often hiding in crevices too small for drug molecules to enter. The brain is also a problem, as drugs often cannot break through the blood-brain barrier.

Vaccines, indeed, are our only hope, and, from what I've heard, there is a promising vaccine in testing currently. I certainly hope and believe that we can, indeed, conquer this, just as we conquered smallpox.

Melon
Actually Melon, there just may be more hope than one might think. I don't want people to despair and then give up or say, "Then what's the point." There isn't a "cure" (you're right about that) but there are right now drugs that allow AIDS patients to live fairly normal lives, and there are effective drugs that prevent the spread of drugs from mom to child. I read a great article on this the other day in the Wash. Post and I'll post it here later-- always nice to hear a bit of good news.

Read a totally fascinating article by Prof. Sachs in which he outlined an idea for make it worth the while of US drug companies to find a cure (guarentee X amount of $ in sales, for example.) I thought that was a great idea. (Can you tell he's becoming a hero of mine? )

Here's the info to call Bush and O'Neill if you'd like for any one on this thread who might have missed it elsewhere.

Bush 202 456 1414
O'Neill 202 622 0190

congress.com will give you your reps in Congress.

jubileeusa.org will give you sample letters to send, as will Bono's Angels, the site in my sig.



SD

PS Thanks Hotpepper!
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Old 07-07-2002, 09:33 AM   #7
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Sherry darling


I agree there is hope, we can make it happen


and if we dont' try to stop it, we're just as guilty as having an active hand in it.
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Old 07-07-2002, 10:10 AM   #8
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Arun, amen! Please consider writing or calling to encourage our leaders along the right direction. Thanks for your words of encouragement!


Some of the misperceptions here (expressed by some quoted in this interview) really trouble me. But there was good news too. Here ya'll go.


Americans on AIDS in Africa: Help and Discipline Needed
Epidemic Blamed On Africans for Unsafe Practices
About the Survey


The survey on global AIDS was conducted jointly by The Washington Post, the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation and Harvard University, which worked together to develop the survey questionnaire and analyze the results. Each organization bears sole responsibility for the work that appears under its name. The Post and the Kaiser Family Foundation paid for the survey and related expenses. In addition to Post staff writers, the project team included Drew E. Altman, president, and Mollyann Brodie, vice president for public opinion research, at Kaiser, a nonprofit organization that conducts research on health care and other public policy issues; Robert J. Blendon, a professor at Harvard's School of Public Health and John F. Kennedy School of Government; and John Benson, managing director of the Harvard Opinion Research Program at the School of Public Health.

By Richard Morin and Claudia Deane
Washington Post Staff Writers
Saturday, July 6, 2002; Page A03

Most Americans favor modest and targeted increases in spending on the global AIDS crisis but many believe any additional money likely will do little to slow the spread of AIDS in Africa and elsewhere in the developing world, according to a survey by The Washington Post, the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation and Harvard University.

Nearly three in four -- 74 percent -- members of the public support a proposal by President Bush to spend an additional $500 million mostly in Africa over the next three years to help combat the transmission of the AIDS virus from mothers to their unborn children.

But this compassion is tempered by caution. Other poll findings and interviews with survey participants suggest that few Americans believe that inadequate funding is the major problem. Instead, the public blames the deepening AIDS emergency in the region on factors it feels are largely immune to a quick financial fix: The stubborn reluctance of many Africans to abandon unsafe sex practices, crippling poverty and governments that are either too corrupt, too incompetent or too overwhelmed to deal effectively with the disease.

"I think it's a matter of people there understanding they need to stop the actions they're doing," said Elizabeth Stokesberry, 26, of Barre, Mass., a homemaker who is expecting her first child at the end of this month. "I don't think the United States should be the world's parent."

But Stokesberry also believes the United States has a "duty to help countries that don't have the resources" -- and then to keep a watchful eye on how its assistance is used.

AIDS experts from around the world will gather in Barcelona for the 14th International AIDS Conference on Sunday. The Barcelona meeting comes as the AIDS crisis continues to worsen in Africa and elsewhere in the developing world. Seventy percent of all individuals infected with the AIDS virus live in sub-Saharan Africa, home to about 11 percent of the world's population. In some African nations, nearly a third of the population is infected.

United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan recently proposed collecting as much as $10 billion a year from wealthier nations for a global fund aimed at fighting AIDS, as well as malaria and tuberculosis. The presumed U.S. share of the fund would be in excess of $2 billion, about double U.S. spending on AIDS abroad.

Few Americans are ready to endorse such a large increase, the Post/Kaiser/Harvard survey suggests. Not even a third -- 31 percent of those polled -- believes the United States is spending "too little" to deal with AIDS in developing countries. Half of those interviewed said this country was spending the "right amount" (34 percent) or "too much" (16 percent) and the remainder were unsure.

And twice as many respondents opposed increasing U.S. support to $2 billion as favored it. But a clear majority -- 59 percent -- acknowledged that they needed to know more before making up their minds, suggesting that many Americans have not yet ruled out a more generous U.S. assistance package. And Americans are far less likely to oppose U.S. assistance to fight global AIDS than they are to object to foreign aid in general.

Bush's proposal to spend $500 million internationally came on the heels of a well-publicized trip by Treasury Secretary Paul H. O'Neill and rock singer Bono to Africa to study the AIDS crisis. Assistance to Africa for AIDS relief was a major focus of the recent Group of Eight meetings in Canada.

The Post/Kaiser/Harvard survey found that Americans clearly recognize the magnitude of the global AIDS crisis. Two-thirds agreed that AIDS had reached epidemic proportions throughout the world. Eight in 10 correctly believe that Africa has been hardest hit by the disease. Two-thirds say they expect that "the worst is yet to come" in Africa, a fear universally shared by the world's AIDS experts.

"I think the worst of the problem [in Africa] is still out there," said Gary James, 42, who works with the mentally handicapped and is a deacon at his church in Columbia, S.C. "I think it's worse than people really perceive."

James believes the AIDS crisis in Africa will eventually harm the United States. "Eventually it will spread. . . . It has already impacted the United States. To just sit back and cover it up, I think it's kind of wrong."

James is not alone. Eight in 10 believe that AIDS in other countries threatens the quality of life in the United States, and 43 percent rate it as a "very serious" threat, though it ranks well behind terrorism and nuclear proliferation. Nearly half of those surveyed said it was "very likely" that the global AIDS crisis could loose a flood of refugees into the United States. And one in five thought the epidemic abroad probably would weaken the U.S. economy.

At the same time, many question the wisdom of spending more money to combat AIDS in Africa and other developing countries. Nearly half -- 47 percent -- said they doubted that additional assistance will lead to meaningful progress while 40 percent said it would.

Behind those numbers are fundamental disagreements between blacks, Latinos and whites over the merits of spending more on global AIDS. Barely a third of all whites -- 34 percent -- said more money would significantly help, a view expressed by 62 percent of all blacks and 60 percent of Latinos. More blacks (47 percent) than whites (30 percent) or Latinos (37 percent) ranked AIDS as the most urgent health problem facing the world today. Blacks and Latinos also were more likely to say that prevention programs would make "a lot" of difference in combating AIDS in developing countries.

The survey suggests that many Americans doubt that more money will help because they don't believe that money -- or the lack of it -- is a major reason the disease has spread so far, so fast across sub-Saharan Africa.

Eight in 10 say a major reason that AIDS has been so hard to control in Africa is the "unwillingness of people to change their unsafe sexual practices." Three in four blame African governments that "are not doing enough themselves to fight AIDS." Two in three -- 65 percent -- said poverty was a big reason.

But only one in four -- 25 percent -- said the lack of financial support from the United States and other developed countries was a big reason it has been difficult to control the spread of AIDS in Africa.

"We send them money and the government takes it and the money doesn't reach the people that need it," said Bill Stalfa, 65, a retired firefighter who lives in Forked River, N.J. "And they've got to curb themselves. They're the leading population with AIDS. Stop having sex if they're going to get AIDS. Then ask us for help. We got enough problems in this country right now. Forget about Africa."

Many Americans question whether AIDS is the biggest health problem facing Africans. When asked what the priorities of the United States should be to deal with health-related problems in Africa, the public ranked the lack of access to clean water and widespread hunger ahead of AIDS, a priority list that precisely echoes the views of Treasury Secretary O'Neill after his Africa trip.

Ronald Mann, 44, of Sanderson, Fla., a sales representative for a steel manufacturer, said he does not think the United States has a responsibility as the richest and most powerful country to spend more to fight global AIDS, an argument that Annan and other world leaders have made. "Until people are willing to help themselves, and that includes their government and their leadership, we can't lead them with American dollars," Mann said.

According to the survey, 51 percent of the public shares his belief that the United States has no more obligation than other wealthier countries to fund AIDS programs in Africa or elsewhere in the developing world. Slightly more than four in 10 -- 44 percent -- believe this country does have a special role.

"I think we do have that responsibility," said Nancy Graham, 69, a dog breeder and retired nurse who lives in Damariscotta, Maine. "It is an advantage in terms of world opinion, and I would hope that we care about that . . . I would hope that it would hold us up as standard-bearers that we care about our fellow man."

Is she worried that the money might be squandered? "Maybe it will go down the drain," she allowed. "But you can hope."



© 2002 The Washington Post Company
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Old 07-07-2002, 01:51 PM   #9
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Also I'd just like to point out

two things


1.) Aids may not affect you...but aids leads to TB TB is tranferrable through the air.....not good


2.) most ppl never gave Afghanistan a second thought, till 9/11 now we all know a whole lot about the situation there. The world is connected I really hope it doesn't take another catastrophe for the ppl in the US to realize what's going on in africa
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Old 07-07-2002, 05:30 PM   #10
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Sherry - thanks for reminding us readers and pointing out that there are "drugs that allow AIDS patients to live fairly normal lives, and there are effective drugs that prevent the spread of drugs from mom to child."

I just read another article about the Barcelona Conference and noticied that some drug companies are attending. Let's hope they get the message and can agree to provide some low cost or free drug solutions. Here's the article:

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/articl...07/MN32789.DTL

I'm going to target at least one of the drug companies and start sending letters. Maybe some of your's and Bono's Angels want to write too???
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Old 07-07-2002, 07:05 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by hotpepper


I'm going to target at least one of the drug companies and start sending letters. Maybe some of your's and Bono's Angels want to write too???


What an amazing fabulous idea! I don't suppose you've got any names or addresses for us? I'm willing to write us a form letter if you all would like.

(And thanks to Daisy for the cool new sig....)

SD
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Old 07-08-2002, 12:06 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by Sherry Darling


I don't suppose you've got any names or addresses for us? I'm willing to write us a form letter if you all would like.


SD
That would be great if you'd write a form letter! I'm starting some research right now - getting addresses and company info.

Preliminary research on Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. shows that in 2001 they committed $115 million "to find sustainable and relevant solutions for the management of HIV/AIDS in women and children, and provide resources to improve community education and patient support." Looks like they've (and probably the other drug companies at the conference) already got the right idea so maybe the focus of the letter should be acknowledging their efforts so far but encouraging more $$$ and perhaps resources. It looks like they are already partnered with good groups too. They are already working with UNAIDS and others.



Love your new sig
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Old 07-08-2002, 06:16 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by hotpepper


That would be great if you'd write a form letter! I'm starting some research right now - getting addresses and company info.

Preliminary research on Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. shows that in 2001 they committed $115 million "to find sustainable and relevant solutions for the management of HIV/AIDS in women and children, and provide resources to improve community education and patient support." Looks like they've (and probably the other drug companies at the conference) already got the right idea so maybe the focus of the letter should be acknowledging their efforts so far but encouraging more $$$ and perhaps resources. It looks like they are already partnered with good groups too. They are already working with UNAIDS and others.



Love your new sig
Isn't it great? Daisy rules!

I love your approach of positive reinforement! The ones doing right need to be encouraged to keep it up and the ones doing wrong (or simply failing to do right) will see that. Let me know what else you find, if anything, and if there is anything else I should include and I'll write it and post it tonight or tomorrow (if tonight's too soon for you...) LOL. You have an addy? Any other companies that need to be ed? I love the idea of what you propose and hope all the Agnels will cut and paste a copy and get it in the mail!

I'm reminded of a quote (but can't remember who said it): All that is necessary for evil to flourish is for good people to do nothing.

Thanks for getting us on board with this Hotpepper!

SD
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Old 07-08-2002, 06:36 PM   #14
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Normal Update from Jubilee USA

Report on recent G8 Summit and the G8 Africa Action Plan

Includes:

- Jubilee USA Network Press Release
- Boston Globe Editorial on G8 Africa Plan
- World Bank Development News summary
- Toronto Star Op-Ed on G8 Africa Plan

=========================================
Jubilee press release
For immediate release: June 27, 2002

G7 Announcement on Debt Relief Only Finances
Past Commitments

Jubilee USA Network is pleased to learn that the G7 leaders have agreed to
fill a $1 billion shortfall in the financing for the multilateral debt
relief initiative known as the Heavily Indebted Poor Country Initiative
(HIPC).

The plan does not, however, offer a new deal on debt relief for poor
countries. Because debt relief is determined by a ratio of debt to exports,
a series of export price crashes for the poorest countries has meant that
more money than previously expected is required to bring countries to "debt
sustainability."


"We are disappointed that the G7 is not agreeing to a new deal on debt. The
crisis of debt, which prevents poor countries from investing in health and
education--demands complete debt cancellation, not just financing previous
commitments," said Mara Vanderslice, spokesperson for Jubilee USA Network.

The HIPC Initiative defines that countries whose debt is more than 150% of
their annual exports should qualify for debt relief sufficient to bring them
to the 150% target level. Since 1996 when HIPC was launched, only 6
countries have completed the program. More than twenty countries are caught
in the middle of the HIPC Initiative delayed by rigorous and often harmful
IMF conditions in order to qualify for relief.

Jubilee USA Network released a report earlier this month calling the HIPC
Initiative "more grief than relief." To view the full report, please visit:
www.jubileeusa.org

"It is especially tragic that the G7 was not willing to do more, considering
how effective debt relief has been in putting kids back in school and
providing lifesaving health services in the most impoverished countries,"
Ms. Vanderslice concluded.


Jubilee USA Network is the leading organization in the United States working
for debt cancellation for impoverished countries, comprised of nearly 70
labor, religious, health and environmental organizations.
###

========================================================

A PITTANCE FOR AFRICA
The Boston Globe
Date: June 30, 2002 Page: H6 Section: Editorial

THE LEADERS OF the wealthy Group of Eight nations gave the plight of Africa
a full day of their time last week but not the money to lift millions of
Africans out of poverty. To do that would require much more direct aid, a
drastic program of debt relief, and an end to domestic farm subsidies that
discourage African exports.

The G-8 leaders, holding their annual summit near Calgary, Alberta, were
responding to the program outlined in the New Partnership for Africa's
Development proposed by several of the top African leaders as a cooperative
effort to develop the continent. President Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria, who
attended the meeting, pronounced himself satisfied with the G-8 communique.
The African leaders have pinned their hope on debt relief, direct aid, and
private investment from the rich nations, and Obasanjo could not afford to
offend Africa's benefactors even if they offered generalizations and
comparative pittances.


The G-8 maintained its promise to provide $12 billion a year in aid to all
poor nations, with half of that going to Africa. But there were few specific
commitments, and none from the United States beyond President Bush's earlier
pledge to contribute an extra $200 million a year for African educational
needs.

The G-8 pledged an additional $1 billion in debt relief, but that will only
compensate for the inability of African nations to export enough products to
meet their obligations under an earlier plan. And the G-8 communique was
vague about doing anything to end unfair trade practices that discourage
exports from Africa.

President Bush signed a law in April that increased subsidies to US farmers
by $51 billion over the next six years. This lowers the prices for US-grown
crops, which devastates the market for the same crops grown in poorer
nations. Africans cannot export their way out of poverty if richer nations
rig international trade against them.


The authors of the New Partnership said $64 billion would be needed each
year to meet their goals. Some of this could be provided by the Africans
themselves, but most of the money has to come from outside sources, either
in investment by foreigners, direct aid, or profits from exports. The
package offered by the G-8 comes nowhere near that amount.

The New Partnership's report calls for democracy, respect for human rights,
the rule of law, increased private investment, and a greater role for women.
By Western standards these are unexceptional requirements, but many
Africans, used to authoritarian models of development, are wary.

The old top-heavy approach has failed throughout Africa. At its meeting next
year, the G-8 should commit the resources to make sure that a new and better
approach does not meet the same fate.

Copywrite the Boston Globe. June 2002.


===================================================
Africans Fume At 'No-Action' G8 Plan For Continent
From World Bank Development News - July 1, 2002

Africans were angry and disappointed on Friday, saying the world's richest
nations had signed a "no-action plan" for Africa -- offering words of
advice but little in the way of new cash, Reuters and the International
Herald Tribune report.

A core group of African presidents, led by South Africa's Thabo Mbeki, had
wanted full backing for their ambitious African recovery plan when they
met leaders from the Group of Eight industrialized nations last week in
Canada.

But the agreement signed on Thursday fell spectacularly short of Africa's
needs, analysts and aid groups said, accusing the G8 of dictating the
terms of the continent's revival. "The hot-air brigade returned a
scandalous plan for no action on Africa. They recycled stale commitments
without saying how and when they would act," said Neville Gabriel, a
director of the South African Catholic Bishops conference.

Analysts said the rich countries, on the final day of a two-day summit in
the Canadian Rockies, had latched onto the cost-free aspects of NEPAD --
conflict resolution, improving governance and promoting private business.
But they spurned African proposals for funding large-scale infrastructure
projects, side-stepped the issue of rich farm subsidies freezing out
African imports, and ignored NEPAD's ambitious targets for debt relief.

Also reporting, the South China Morning Post (Hong Kong) said aid agencies
have blasted the G8's much-vaunted rescue plan for Africa as a squandered
opportunity and "recycled peanuts".

G8 sources claimed progress had been made on peacekeeping, resolving
conflicts and eradicating polio. Half the US$12 billion a year already
pledged by rich countries for aid budgets will be committed to Africa,
while the fund to pay off the debts of the most impoverished states will
be increased by US$1 billion. The World Bank estimates between US$40
billion and US$60 billion a year is needed to get Africa on target to meet
UN development goals.

The Calgary Herald (Canada) notes G8 leaders stopped short of agreeing to
a call by World Bank president James Wolfensohn that half of that money
should go to Africa. Instead, they said half that sum "could be directed
to African nations that govern themselves justly, invest in their own
people and promote economic freedom." Each G-8 member still controls the
distribution of its international aid.

South African President Thabo Mbeki said the Kananaskis summit was
historic but he insisted on the urgent need to look at concrete issues,
reports La Tribune (France), noting that this was the general feeling.
Indeed, says the story, African leaders were pleased with the fact that
Africa was a major issue during a G8 summit but public opinion criticizes
the lack of financial commitment. French President Jacques Chirac said
NEPAD was "a new type of partnership, neither indulgent nor rhetoric.

AFP, meanwhile, reports delegates at a "Summit of the Poor" in Mali
responded caustically Friday to proposals for Africa by the G8, with one
skeptic lamenting that the meeting in the Canadian Rocky Mountains had
given birth to a mouse.

The comment was typical of the widespread jaundiced reaction across Africa
to the G8 Africa Action Plan put forward by Britain, Canada, France,
Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia and the United States. In Nigeria business
leaders dismissed the plan as window dressing. The charity Christian Aid
said a promise of a billion dollars in aid for heavily indebted countries
was "at best treading water and the summit has failed to tackle the
fundamental problem of third world debt of African nations."


And Uganda's junior finance minister said the plan should have had other
goals and aimed at helping Africa to stand on its own and be able to pay
its debt.

The Irish Times (Ireland) reports U2's Bono has urged the G8 to turn its
widely-criticized commitment on development aid into "a historic new
partnership" with Africa. He joined aid agencies and other
non-governmental organizations Friday in expressing disappointment with
the G8 Africa Action Plan. He said "incremental steps and distant
promises" are still the G8's trademark.


The news comes as AllAfrica.com reports, "There is between promise and
reality in this summit a distance which cannot be bridged," explains
Stephen Lewis, the United Nations Special Advisor on Aids, characterizing
the world leaders Africa Action Plan as "disappointing", "pathetic" and
"abysmal." The recommendations in the G8 Africa Action for dealing with
the issues of HIV/AIDS are particularly disappointing, says Lewis. "The
leaders of the world's richest nations were able to find $20 billion to
assure the dismantling of nuclear warheads in Russia, an objective which
everyone agrees with, but they couldn't find even a fraction of that to
save 2,300,000 lives that are being lost every single year in Sub-Saharan
Africa alone."

Commenting, Le Monde (France) says in an editorial that the mechanism to
control good governance is only optional and no sanction system is
planned. Concerning industrialized countries, the editorial says the best
way to help Africa is to buy its agricultural products but George Bush has
risen subsidies and Jacques Chirac is against any reform of the European
Common Agricultural Policy.

Meanwhile, the EU is moving to overhaul its agriculture programs to stop
farmers from producing mountains of surplus grain, beef and milk, The Wall
Street Journal (A11) reports. The EU proposal is to switch the bulk of
subsidies into lump-sum welfare payments to farmers, eliminated the
production-linked system that rewards farmers for producing unwanted
crops. But it wouldn't cut the size of the EU aid program, which at $43
billion a year is considerably bigger than the latest U.S. farm bill.

Still, economists say the proposed changes to the EU program would benefit
the world economy, and would especially help poor farmers in the
developing world who can't compete with subsidized farmers from rich
countries. "It should lead to less dumping of artificially cheap products
on Third World markets," says Duncan Green, adviser for the Catholic
Agency for Overseas Development in London.

The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (Germany) says all the Africans who
expected either new money for Africa or debt relief are disappointed. The
industrialized countries have not concluded on any new means for Africa.
The G8 countries have taken Africa by its words. The US$6 billion
additional aid for development will only be given to those who respect the
NEPAD principals. The first hurdle to overcome will be in early July in
the South African city Durban, where the African presidents will meet and
establish the new African Union and at the same time, discuss about the
forthcoming role of NEPAD. The key element is the so-called "Peer review
process" through which will be examined whether a country respects or not
the principles. According to recent plans, the UN-ECA organization will be
supposed to take over the country analysis.

Die Tageszeitung (Germany), meanwhile, says the G8 meeting finished with
small results. It was expected because the NEPAD initiative invited the
industrialized countries to consider the Africans as responsible of their
own misery. Only the presidents who were ready to take the responsibility
of the development of their continent were invited to the summit. The
development of own strength is not yet sufficient in Africa, the piece
says. Africa needs support from outside and what can be reproached to
Africa is that they have offered themselves in Canada. They could have
used the opportunity to work together with the demonstrators, and build a
coalition which could not be ignored by the G8.

BBC Online notes as African heads of state presented their vision of
African development to the G8 summit in Canada, some newspapers criticize
the West's failure to deliver while others point to Zimbabwe as
undermining Africa's credibility. Doubts are also expressed as to how
representative the African leaders' initiative is for the continent's
people.

An editorial in South Africa's The Star says NEPAD will have to prove to
the rest of the world that it is capable of implementing the "peer review
mechanism" under which African leaders are supposed to monitor each
other's adherence to democratic principles. "Unless they can give it real
credibility in the eyes of the world by dealing honestly and firmly with
bad leaders, NEPAD is doomed to join many other grand African development
plans, in the litter bins of history," it says.

Algeria's Quotidien warns that NEPAD is designed to serve the interests of
the ruling classes rather than the African population as a whole. And
Kenya's East African identifies "the lack of a popular groundswell in
Africa in support of the project" as a major cause for concern. The paper
cites a report by a Canadian NGO, which says that NEPAD "was written
quickly, by a few African leaders, without the awareness of their
publics". The Star describes the project as "very elitist" and calls on
its initiators to do more to promote their ideas at home as well as
abroad.

Meanwhile, Paul Reynolds of BBC Online says the G8 meeting in the Canadian
Rocky Mountains was billed as a summit for Africa - but the people of
Africa have still been left with a long way to climb. The G8 did promise
an extra US$1bn in debt relief for those countries whose commodity exports
have been hard hit. And they earmarked for Africa US$6bn of the US$12bn
they promised all poorer countries at a conference in Mexico recently,
though how this is to be spent remains to be decided.

So the African leaders who attended did not go away empty handed. But nor
were their hands full, Reynolds says. The aid is being tied to a new
pledge from African states to put their own houses in order under NEPAD.


=========================================================
Africa suffers, West chants mantra of trade, not aid

By Linda McQuaig
Toronto Star Op-Ed
Sunday, June 30, 2002

With the world leaders packed up and gone, we can now ponder
whether Africans will get fed and how the summit will affect Jean
Chretien’s profile.

All this is stuff we can relate to. The protestors, on the other
hand, seem more perplexing. To begin with, their behaviour doesn’
t fit with the standard model, where everyone is simply out to
maximize their own self-interest.

How to explain the fact that thousands of people across the
country took part in demonstrations last week to champion debt
relief for Africa, without even receiving handsome retainers or
improving their chances of getting into an MBA program? All this
concern for others seems hard to fathom.

Clearly, it would be a lot more comfortable for everyone here if
these young people would just do something normal – like shop.
Why can’t they behave like regular folks and put their energies
instead into, say, getting a fancier gas barbecue for the
cottage?


It’s tempting perhaps to conclude that those engaging in
snake-dancing without pay or taking off their clothes without the
prospect of a porno film deal must be confused – about their
lives and about the issues. G8 leaders and other global economy
enthusiasts are hoping we’ll conclude that.

But it’s worth noting that much of what the protestors say jibes
with what an intellectual superstar like Nobel-Prize winning
economist Joseph Stiglitz has to say. And, interestingly, when
Stiglitz said these things in the late 90s, it didn’t go down any
better with the world’s ruling elite. He soon found himself
dumped from the prestigious position of chief economist at the
World Bank. (So even if they dispense with the green hair and
balaclavas, protestors shouldn’t count on much of a hearing from
the G8 crowd.)

Stiglitz has no green hair, and when I interviewed him last year,
he was in the back of a very mainstream stretch limo (on his way
to meet then Finance Minister Paul Martin, who had sought his
opinions.)

What Stiglitz and the protestors have in common, though, is a
distrust of the economic model that the G8 leaders – and the vast
bureaucracies of the IMF and the World Bank that answer to them –
have been imposing on the world in the past two decades, in the
name of “globalization.”

To listen to a lot of commentators last week, the problem has
been that the west has selflessly squandered billions on Africans
without demanding a proper accounting (perhaps Arthur Andersen
could have helped out), and rendering them dependent. In this
version of events, Africa is akin to the legendary beer-slugging
welfare mom who can’t make anything of her life because she’s so
hooked on hand-outs.

This is a comforting thought for the west. People are dying over
there despite our generosity. What’s needed is a little tough
love on our part. Trade not aid.

But Stiglitz – who witnessed things close up, from inside the
Washington power circle – presents the west’s role as far less
benign. It turns out that these no-strings-attached hand-outs
never existed. Stiglitz notes that we routinely force developing
countries to accept a rigid set of conditions aimed at weakening
their governments and opening their markets for western
penetration, even though all successful economies – including the
U.S. and the celebrated east Asian tigers – got started with some
mix of strong government and protected markets.


It wasn’t surprising, then, that when a group of African leaders
came forward with their own aid package, known as NEPAD, they
adhered to this open-market formula, knowing who they were
appealing to. (No point in pitching abstinence to a room full of
priests.)

Stiglitz says IMF experts regularly make decisions about what’s
best for Third World countries while experiencing little more
than the room service and pool facilties at the local first class
hotel. Many IMF economists, he suggests, seem to regard
themselves as “shouldering Rudyard Kipling’s white man’s burden.”

The results haven’t been good. After two decades of being
subjected to this open-market, weak-government model, no country
has worked itself out of the debt that brought it to the IMF and
World Bank in the first place, according to the Washington-based
Jubilee USA Network.

Of course, the same two decades produced great wealth,
particularly for a tiny elite in the west who now finance an
industry of think tanks to convince everyone else that
“globalization” is beneficial and, even if it isn’t, it’s
inevitable, so get used to it.

Meanwhile, at country clubs and golf courses throughout North
America, there seems to be much certainty that Africa could do
fine if it just faced up to the fact that what it needs is more
trade and less aid. And there’s similar conviction that if those
young protestors would just think a little more clearly, someday
they could all be driving BMWs


Got this in the email today and thought I'd pass it along. Some sobering stuff. We've got our work cut out for us....

SD
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Old 07-08-2002, 10:31 PM   #15
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Location: New York (I wish)
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Local Time: 05:47 PM
Hey Sherry,

Thanks so much for the support!

What's an addy? My email address? lsaltveit@yahoo.com

I've got some info about the pharmaceutical companies. I'll send you a PM with it and my opinions on how to proceed. My inclination is to pick one of the three and then have us Angels get the letter writing into full swing.

-Lori aka hotpepper
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