The Morrison Government’s aid cuts are continuing to hurt some of the poorest people in the world, this time in tackling the health scourges of tuberculosis, AIDS and malaria.
The Government has made a disappointingly modest contribution to the sixth pledging conference for the Global Fund to fight TB, AIDS and malaria in Lyons in France on Friday last week.
At a conference seeking to raise US$14 billion from donor countries to continue the Global Fund’s essential work over the next three years, Australia pledged $242 million over the period from 2020 to 2022.
While this represented a 10 per cent increase over Australia’s 2017-2019 pledge, it fell well short of the 15-20 per cent increases from other developed economies including the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Canada and France.
The modest increase also comes as the Australian Government has still only actually contributed half of the $220 million it pledged to the Global Fund for 2017-2019.
Health programs supported by the Global Fund have saved an estimated 27 million lives since 2002 with a large part of the Fund’s efforts focussing on developing countries in the Indo-Pacific region.
This is another example of how the Coalition’s $11.8 billion in aid cuts are damaging Australia’s international reputation as a generous nation committed to the fair go.