Nov 30th US Protests: ‘China, Pay Your Fair Share on Global AIDS!’
WASHINGTON, Nov. 29, 2010 /PRNewswire/ — On the eve of World AIDS Day December 1st, AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS organization, is spearheading two simultaneous protests in Washington, DC and Los Angeles targeting the Government of China over its misuse of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria. Over the past ten years, China–now the world’s second largest economy–has received nearly $1 billion ($940M) from the Fund, yet has contributed just $16 million. Over the same years, the United States has contributed $5.1 billion to the Fund–more than 28 percent of all contributions to the Fund. The protests will take place Tuesday morning, November 30th in front of the Chinese Embassy in Washington (2300 Connecticut Avenue, NW, 20008; 12 noon to 1pm Eastern) and in Los Angeles at the Consulate General, People’s Republic of China (443 Shatto Place, Los Angeles, 90020, from 9am to 10am Pacific). The protests will also be followed up later in the day with a press teleconference at 5:30pm Pacific (9:30am Wednesday Dec. 1st in Beijing & Shanghai).
LOS ANGELES China Global Fund Protest (NOTE: Approx. 150 people expected at Los Angeles protest) When: Tuesday, November 30, 2010 Time: 9:00 - 10:00 AM (Pacific Time) Where: Consulate General, Peoples Republic of China 443 Shatto Place, Los Angeles CA 90020 Ged Kenslea (323) 791-5526 Cell Lori Yeghiayan, Contact: (323) 377-4312 Cell WASHINGTON, DC China Global Fund Protest When: Tuesday, November 30, 2010 Time: 12:00 - 1:00 PM (Eastern Time) Where: Chinese Embassy 2300 Connecticut Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20008 Contact: Joey Terrill (213) 453-3630 Cell TELECONFERENCE (Post China Protests)-5:30pm Pacific, Follow Up on China & AIDS Funding When: Tuesday, November 30, 2010, 5:30pm Pacific Time (9:30am Shanghai & Beijing-time Wednesday Dec 1st local time) Teleconference Dial in information: -US callers +1.877.411.9748 participant code #7931503 -Int'l callers: +1.636.651.3128 participant code #7931503
The Global Fund is a program funded by the wealthy nations that is designed to provide financial assistance to developing countries that lack the resources to fight diseases and build up medical infrastructures. AIDS advocates at both protests in DC and LA will carry banners and signs reading “China, Pay Your Fair Share on Global AIDS!” in both English and Chinese, and carry placards with color pictures of China’s currency, the renminbi, in the 100 yuan denomination.
While China has contributed a mere $16 million to the Global Fund yet received $940 million, the United States, by contrast, has contributed $5.1 billion while has given Japan $1.3 billion and France $2.2 billion.
“The Chinese government should be showing more leadership on HIV/AIDS than it has over the past decade and it should be shouldering far greater financial responsibility in helping to combat the global AIDS epidemic,” said Michael Weinstein, President of AIDS Healthcare Foundation. “As one of the largest recipients of Global Fund money, China–second only to the US as the largest economy in the world–is taking desperately-needed resources away from countries with far greater need. Through these protests in Washington and Los Angeles and as World AIDS Day approaches, we are urging the Chinese Government to ‘give more and take less’ from the Global Fund.”
With regard to the dichotomy between China as a donor and as a recipient of global health funding, an Associated Press article, “China Rises and Rises, Yet Still Gets Foreign Aid,” (AP/Forbes, Gillian Wong, 9/25/10) pointed out, “China spent tens of billions of dollars on a dazzling 2008 Olympics. It has sent astronauts into space. It recently became the world’s second largest economy. Yet it gets more than $2.5 billion a year in foreign government aid – and taxpayers and lawmakers in donor countries are increasingly asking why. With the global economic slowdown crimping government budgets, many countries are finding such generosity politically and economically untenable. China says it’s still a developing country in need of aid, while some critics argue that the money should go to poorer countries in Africa and elsewhere.”
“China currently has over $2.5 trillion dollars in foreign currency reserves. It spent over $40 billion to host the 2008 Summer Olympics, and over $58 billion to hold the 2010 World Exposition,” said Tom Myers, Chief of Public Affairs and General Counsel for AIDS Healthcare Foundation and who is based in Washington. “China is a wealthy country and can pay for its own health care needs.”
About AIDS Healthcare Foundation
AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS organization, currently provides medical care and/or services to more than 140,000 individuals in 22 countries worldwide in the US, Africa, Latin America/Caribbean, the Asia/Pacific Region and Eastern Europe. www.aidshealth.org
SOURCE AIDS Healthcare Foundation