The so-called Global Fund for AIDS threatens to draw U.S. tax dollars into support for a raft of anti-life causes. Not only is the Global Fund associated with groups that promote and support abortion, prostitution, and homosexuality, it is rife with bureaucratic and regulatory problems.
Steve Mosher is the president of Population Research Institute, a non-profit organization dedicated to debunking the myth that the world is overpopulated.
Their appetites whetted by the $15 billion that President Bush has requested for AIDS relief, international abortion groups and their allies are pressing for more money for the Global Fund (GF). Why are they so eager to fund this new international entity, rather than deal with the AIDS epidemic through bilateral aid programs? Probably because they expect to benefit.
The idea for a Global Fund originated with U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan who, in 2001, called for the establishment of an international organization, modeled on the World Bank, to fund groups working on AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
The Global Fund to date has received pledges exceeding $2 billion from U.S. and foreign governments. Under a current proposal, the Fund would receive an additional $1 billion from the U.S. alone over the next five years. These funds would likely be disbursed from the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), a domestic agency with little international experience. Worse yet, the monies would disappear into the maw of a secretive bureaucracy, the World Bank, there to be commingled with the contributions of other nations before being disbursed by the World Health Organization (WHO) to groups around the world.
Critics of the Global Fund, and there are many, note that its operations are both inefficient and opaque. While billions of dollars have been committed, little has been done to date. Thirteen months after Annan’s call to action, WHO announced it had approved 61 Global Fund proposals for 43 countries, along with three multi-country proposals. At that time, twenty-one proposals were fast-tracked for approval, despite WHO’s own admission that there “is a need for greater clarity about the roles and responsibilities of the country coordinating mechanisms and, most urgently, the means by which funds can be transferred to the successful applicant.”(1) Today, two years later, GF projects are underway in only four countries. The Global Fund has been more of a global boondoggle than anything else, more absorbed in the costly management of yet another global bureaucracy than providing effective AIDS relief.
Despite the World Health Organization’s demand for “greater clarity,” the Global Fund remains anything but transparent. The Fund has been notably reluctant to provide information about the international organizations it intends to fund. A number of international organizations, most notably the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), have been outspoken in their support for the Fund, however.
IPPF praised the first Global Fund grants, and in particular lauded the appointment of Richard Feachem to be the executive director of the Fund.(2) Feachem reciprocated with praise of his own, saying that “With family planning organizations in over 180 countries worldwide, IPPF provides the ideal outlet for HIV/AIDS education and prevention programs. As Executive Director of the Global Fund to fight AIDS…I look forward to working with [newly appointed IPPF Director-General] Dr. Sinding in the future.”(3) Such mutual back-scratching suggests that a Global Fund grant on the order of tens of millions, maybe hundreds of millions, is in the works.
Aside from the sheer amount of money in play, IPPF must find the prospect of being freed from the troublesome oversight provided by the U.S. Agency for International Development appealing. While USAID is not perfect, many in the agency would have difficulty accepting the notion, bruited about by both WHO and IPPF, that abortion (“termination of pregnancy”) should be used to prevent the spread of AIDS.(4) After all, half of all babies born to HIV-positive mothers do not have the disease. As for the half that do, their plight does not justify killing them in utero, any more than it would justify killing them after birth. The position of WHO and IPPF that the spread of AIDS can be checked by abortion is no less reprehensible as saying that abortion should be used as a means of population control — an idea that many nations have forcefully rejected as genocidal.
And what of the possibility that funds will be diverted from AIDS prevention and treatment to programs that advance the global homosexual agenda? It is perhaps no coincidence that some of the fiercest opposition to bilateral AIDS relief has come from ACT UP, the militant fringe homosexual activist group. Despite the fact that tens of millions of dollars in U.S. bilateral programs will be spent on life-extending drug therapies, ACT UP described lack of support for the Global Fund as “disappointing… for activists.”(5) The Log Cabin Republicans, another homosexual activist group, lauded U.S. “seed funding…to start the Global Fund” along with “the appointment of former Log Cabin national president Abner Mason as the chairman of the international subcommittee of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS.”(6) Bear in mind that AIDS in Africa is primarily a heterosexual phenomenon, not a homosexual one, and it is rooted in the bloodlines of the prostitution industry.
Yet the Global Fund shows every sign of wanting, through its programs, to work for the normalization of prostitution in Africa. Ignoring the views of Ugandans, Kenyans and other Africans who are strongly opposed to prostitution, U.N.-sanctioned “AIDS prevention” programs work to legitimize the prostitution “industry” and emphasize the “rights” of “sex workers.” U.N. AIDS prevention programs service prostitutes, and their clients, with “reproductive health” supplies — including condoms and abortions — and are silent about the exploitation of women and girls sold or trafficked into sexual slavery.
In his State of the Union address, President Bush propelled the U.S. to the forefront of the international AIDS relief effort. Many both within and outside of the administration are working hard to ensure that bilateral AIDS funding does not go to groups that promote or perform abortion under the guise of AIDS relief.(7)
Now there is a new threat to life and the family around the world. U.S. taxpayers must insist that the Global Fund not be funded.
1. World Health Organization, “The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and other collaboration,” WHO Executive Board, Note by the Secretariat, May 18, 2002.
2. IPPF, “First Grants From Global Fund Announced,” April 29, 2002.
3. IPPF, “Tributes”.
4. WHO, Fact Sheet 10: “Women and HIV and Mother to Child Transmission,” 2000.
5. ACT UP ATLANTA, “Global AIDS Fund,” June 20, 2002.
6. Log Cabin Republicans, “President Bush Announces $500 Million Global AIDS Increase,” Press release, June 19, 2002.
7. “Bush May Deny Some Overseas AIDS Money,” Associated Press, Feb. 16, 2003.
© 2003 Population Research Institute.