Funding for AIDS in Africa Research Proposal

Excerpt from Research Proposal :

The weaker segments in Africa, women and children, were and are the worst hit by HIV / AIDS, which then is spread to the families and communities. (Bage 2004)

Dealing with this is a great scientific, social, and moral challenge that every organization and country, especially developed countries must rise up to. It is time to mobilize resources and contribute to make changes in the policies so that we at the United Nations can do something worthwhile to combat Africa's problem with this disease. There were commercial interests earlier that would not allow the developed nations to provide subsidized medicine. For instance the United States, there was a stance that there could be no recognition of the problem and a denial of need. This was followed by a policy that placed the solving of the problem on the affected countries. Until George W. Bush, the United States and many developed countries denied that there was a problem which required international response. There were later attempts that also required the costs of the proposed solutions to be met by the affected country. Thus while it was reasonable to expect selling drugs at reduced prices, the subsidy granted by way of loans actual siphoned money on the cost of drugs at Western retail prices which was intended to benefit the multinational pharmaceutical companies. (Harris, Siplon 2001)

As pointed out earlier, and as insisted by many researchers, in the sub-Saharan Africa, AIDS coupled with poverty brings about a downward spiral which causes the spread of HIV. There are virtually no trained professionals in any field of health care in regions outside the capital cities. (Harris, Siplon 2001) I have to agree with Harris and Siplon (2001) in mentioning 'that there is an obligation' to the International community to Human Health especially to HIV / AIDS. Today many people in the world's poorest nations are affected with the disease. And there is a chance of millions more being affected in a geometrical proportion. The world view of various governments shows that they favor international assistance in all disasters and governments. The United States especially has responded to crisis like famines, earthquakes and so on swiftly and benevolently. Nations with food surpluses respond to famines as the people of these countries think it is the correct thing to do. Starvation is a definitely a world problem, and unfortunately today starvation, poverty and HIV / AIDS are present in the same place, one creating the other and this problem requires the greater assistance of the world today. (Harris, Siplon 2001)

It is pointed out that the response by the developed countries to the AIDS problem has been very slow. The international gravity of the HIV / AIDS problem has not yet caught on. Countries have so far been focused on the minority infected in their own country and have not bothered much about the problem in lesser developed nations. (Harris, Siplon 2001) But there has been no provision of funds to either assist the countries that are stuck by this menace or provide for as I may point out a substantial research program to find solutions to this issue. For further progress, action in the form of aid, provision of technology and help is expected from the developed nations. It is a moral global obligation.

The United States Policies:

For Americans it was understood that the Middle East was earlier the domain of Great Britain and France. Before the interest in Oil and the Cold War, the Middle East and the Arab world were not connected with the United States in politics. These changed with the times and now the Arab states and what happens in the Middle East is part of the United States policy. (DeConde 1963)

But the Middle East is not Africa and the policy of ignoring the issues of nations that have no commercial or strategic interest for the United States needs to change. To add, it is unfortunate that the countries in Europe have relinquished all responsibilities of their former colonies and left them to their own misery. This is not moral and can also affect these countries adversely in the long run. They too can be adversely affected if the population of the African states deteriorates to such an extent that virtually there are no people who are uninfected, and then through commerce and contact with people who have migrated to the colonies transfer the illness and introduces it into their own countries. There will be no way then to stop it. The United States therefore has to take an active part in the process of generating additional funding related HIV / AIDS research in South Africa. (Harris, Siplon 2001)

I have to mention that in the past decades there has been a policy shift in the United States to this issue beginning from the Clinton administration. The United States has been doing a lot in this regard especially in the 'President Clinton' era. 'The Global AIDS and Tuberculosis Relief Act' which was enacted in 2000, provided over "$400 million to fight AIDS and other infectious diseases." (Harris, Siplon 2001)

However the amount required by my predecessor, General Kofi Annan was much more than this. It has to be mentioned that "President George W. Bush sanctioned $200 million to the UN global AIDS fund" and Bush admitted that it was a global AIDS crisis, and as he put it "almost beyond comprehension." (Harris, Siplon 2001) As far as the United States is concerned, the Bush stance was definitely a major policy shift regarding spending on AIDS in Africa. Unfortunately other nations in developed countries have tried and successfully blocked efforts to provide affordable treatment which has become a hurdle in making the cost effective treatment -- both to help those with the infection and in preventing the infection -- by blocking low cost drugs. This is an unfortunate development. (Harris, Siplon 2001)

I am proud to note that the U.S. Government so far has actively provided aid to forty seven countries in Africa through the USAID. (USAID 2009) The question why there must be more funds sanctioned for the project in Africa is meaningful at the time when the President of the United States has announced the Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief Five-Year Strategy -- The PEPFAR strategy and the Presidents gesture shows that the U.S. is aware of the magnitude of the problem. (The U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief 2009) I am only adding that while the plan of the President is appreciated we have to have more allocation from all member countries including the U.S. To follow up with the original UN goals and also make the efforts in Africa bear fruit.

The UN MDG and the Progress Impediments

I am also pointing out to the steps taken by the UN in this regard. You will be aware that the Millennium Development Goals -- MDGs that was adopted and expected to be completed in 2015 is half way of its time, but unfortunately progress is not as what was expected. In the report compiled in 2008, I had the opportunity to point out that the AIDS Program which is one of the key projects of the MDGS -- is not satisfactorily implemented. This is because as highlighted in the report, the sufferers are mostly women and children. AIDS spawns other communicable diseases like Tuberculosis which will cause further epidemics.

All the sub-Saharan African communities are thus in need of more medicines, counseling and community programs that keep the healthy population from getting the disease and at the same time providing relief to these weaker sections. I am afraid that all the other goals of the program are also lagging behind, but the AIDS program of the MDGS is slow on account of non-availability of resources including funds. The fiduciary aspects of this program as you will be aware are dependent on the donor nations. I have made appeals to all developed nations, but through you I wish to appeal to the President and the People of the United States to see that there is available more funds so that the project MDGS be satisfactorily concluded.

Why must you do more?

The U.S. has used the assistance programs for the diplomatic achievements and protecting commercial and other U.S. interests all over the world. Africa is no exception. The declared policies of the U.S. In this context as per the USAID statements (USAID 2009) is to create well governed states with better approach to democratic transitions and thus create a regional security to be effective against counterterrorism, and at the same time protect U.S. interests commercial and otherwise in these regions. (USAID 2009)

The PEPFAR already has sanctioned funds that would be used in select African countries. (USAID 2009) That is laudable from the standpoint of the U.S. policy but as I pointed out above, the ongoing projects need more fund and support from the people of the…

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