The Time is Now to Fight Disease

It is possible for a child born just ten years from now to live in a world where AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria are on the wane. But this can only happen with considerable investment. Now. Otherwise, today’s grim picture will only get worse. Each day, these diseases kill 16,000 people—devastating entire communities and plummeting countries deeper into poverty.

Upping the ante could turn the tables. Recent successes in Brazil against AIDS, in Mozambique against malaria, and in China against TB, show what can be achieved on a global scale with more resources. There are new ways of directing aid to where it is most needed.

A key instrument is the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria. Created in 2002 as a partnership between governments and civil society, the Global Fund is unique in the way it aims to deliver assistance. Driven by real needs on the ground, projects are designed and implemented by recipients, and its procedures and operations are transparent.

Of late there has been much talk about intensifying efforts to eradicate poverty. Ahead of the G8 summit in Scotland in July, a coalition of non-governmental organizations has launched the “Global Call to Action Against Poverty,” and the UK host has made Africa a top priority. Building on this momentum, the campaigns for debt relief, trade reform, and increasing aid to poor countries have gained traction. Yet, while pledges to increase development assistance have soared, short-term funding is woefully inadequate.