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Lancet. 2005 Aug 13; 366(9485):603-605.In September, 2005, a summit of world leaders in New York, USA, will review progress towards the Millennium Development Goals. Three of the eight goals are explicitly health-related: to reduce child mortality by two-thirds between 1990 and 2015, to reduce maternal mortality by three-quarters, and to control HIV, tuberculosis, and malaria. A lack of progress by April, 2001, led Kofi Annan, the United Nations Secretary General, to establish a Global Fund to increase health investment, especially in Africa and Asia. The fund’s focus was control of HIV, tuberculosis, and malaria, which are diseases that kill more than 6 million people every year. To date, the Global Fund for AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria has committed US$3 billion in 128 countries to support aggressive interventions against the three diseases. Nearly 11 million children and more than 0.5 million mothers die every year, yet progress towards mortality reduction targets has been poor despite the availability of cost-effective and scalable interventions. Investment in maternal and child health programmes has lagged far behind those for AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria. The investment gap between what is needed and what is spent is large. Mothers and children, not for the first time, have lost out. Here, we put the case for a new Global Fund to reduce maternal, neonatal, and child mortality. (excerpt)
Lancet. 2005 Aug 13; 366:522.The Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria is in the middle of a public relations offensive. Since June this year, the Fund has been championing a campaign of public awareness to help build confidence in its activities by showing people around the world that “their country’s aid money saves lives”. It already seems to be working. Last week, the UK Department for International Development announced that it was doubling its yearly contribution to the Fund to £100 million for 2005 and 2006. And several donor governments, including the UK, answered the Fund’s plea to hastily fulfill all 2005 commitments by the end of July this year to trigger a full payment of US$435 million from the USA, which, by law, cannot pledge more than 33% of the total held in the Fund’s trustee account on July 31 each year. Despite the recent financial boost, the Fund is still anticipating a funding shortfall of US$700 million. Why is the Fund struggling to gain the credibility that will ensure financial security? (excerpt)
Human development report 2003. Millennium Development Goals: a compact among nations to end human poverty.
New York, New York, Oxford University Press, 2003. xv, 367 p.The central part of this Report is devoted to assessing where the greatest problems are, analysing what needs to be done to reverse these setbacks and offering concrete proposals on how to accelerate progress everywhere towards achieving all the Goals. In doing so, it provides a persuasive argument for why, even in the poorest countries, there is still hope that the Goals can be met. But though the Goals provide a new framework for development that demands results and increases accountability, they are not a programmatic instrument. The political will and good policy ideas underpinning any attempt to meet the Goals can work only if they are translated into nationally owned, nationally driven development strategies guided by sound science, good economics and transparent, accountable governance. That is why this Report also sets out a Millennium Development Compact. Building on the commitment that world leaders made at the 2002 Monterrey Conference on Financing for Development to forge a “new partnership between developed and developing countries”—a partnership aimed squarely at implementing the Millennium Declaration—the Compact provides a broad framework for how national development strategies and international support from donors, international agencies and others can be both better aligned and commensurate with the scale of the challenge of the Goals. And the Compact puts responsibilities squarely on both sides: requiring bold reforms from poor countries and obliging donor countries to step forward and support those efforts. (excerpt)
Lancet. 1998 May 23; 351(9115):1561.Leaders of the world's 8 major government powers who met at the Group of Eight (G8) Summit in Birmingham, UK, during May 15-17, endorsed an international initiative to control malaria and other parasitic diseases. The leaders agreed to improve mutual cooperation on infectious and parasitic diseases, and offered support for the new World Health Organization (WHO) initiative "Roll Back Malaria" to reduce levels of malaria-related mortality by 2010. UK Prime Minister Tony Blair was, however, the only leader to pledge new funding, in the amount of US$100 million, for the initiative. The other G8 countries fought the inclusion of specific targets in the final joint G8 document and made no new commitment to fund the malaria initiative. The Japanese government's report on global parasite control for the 21st century outlined 4 strategies for controlling malaria, soil-transmitted nematode infections, schistosomiasis, filariasis, and other parasitic infections. The strategies include international cooperation for implementing parasite control and research to provide a scientific basis for such control. Roll Back Malaria will begin in Africa. G8 support was less enthusiastic for France's Therapeutic Solidarity Initiative to establish a fund for HIV treatment regimens which are appropriate to conditions in the developing world.