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AFRO-NETS> Why focus on Iraq and not AIDS? (2)
- Subject: AFRO-NETS> Why focus on Iraq and not AIDS? (2)
- From: Peter Burgess <Profitinafrica@aol.com>
- Date: Tue, 5 Nov 2002 01:50:18 -0500 (EST)
Why focus on Iraq and not AIDS? (2)
Dear AFRO-NETS colleagues
I have reformulated the question...... Instead of "Why focus on Iraq
and not AIDS?" the question I want to ask is..... "What to do about
the focus on Iraq and not AIDS?"
The community of people interested in the AIDS crisis need to spend
just as much time talking to people with no interest in the subject
as they do talking to others with a passion for the subject. We spend
a lot of our effort just talking to those who are already interested
When you start talking to people who have no interest.... and little
knowledge of the problem..... you will be horrified at the reactions.
Frankly, it is not pleasant trying to talk to ordinary people in the
NORTH.... rich and poor.... about the AIDS crisis... especially the
AIDS crisis in Africa. The responses can be pretty awful...... the
sort of remarks that some people think ended several decades ago.
There is an enormous amount of work to be done to bring public atten-
tion to the matter.... and to hold political leaders accountable for
their failure to do very much. By any standard that involves num-
bers.... this is a humanitarian crisis of epic proportions...... and
the rich NORTH is essentially ignoring the crisis. PEOPLE AND
The World Bank, the UN and its specialized agencies, the IMF and Gov-
ernments are a big part of the problem. They really do not know how
to mobilize public action.... and in many ways that is a good
thing.... but the bad news is that most ordinary people believe that
these organizations are doing all that is necessary... when in fact
what they are saying is that we are doing a good job but please give
us more money and then we might be able to do a bit more.... while
all the time knowing that the bit more will still do almost nothing
for the intended beneficiaries , but will make life at this organiza-
tions just a little bit more financially comfortable. These organiza-
tions are not talking about a paradigm change to make a real differ-
ence for the people actually facing the crisis in their home towns
and villages around Africa. Frankly NOBODY is...... including I sus-
pect........ a good number of the people reading the postings on this
Am I right.... the Global Fund for AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria....
has $2 billion in the bank.................. and NONE yet disbursed.
With 10,000 new infections a day, this delay is a CRIME. Why? Who?
......... and what needs to be done to get the funds put to good use?
If it is a matter of getting an appropriate accounting and account-
ability system in place..... we (ATCnet and our strategic partners)
can do that very quickly with rather modest resources..... maybe it
will take a matter of weeks.... certainly not many months. Why is it
taking the GFATM months and months and months and why is it costing
lots of money to do it?
I would like to discuss Iraq...... but I will not. It is enough to
think just about the AIDS issues............ and the enormous need to
get the ordinary people in the NORTH better to understand the poten-
tial for success if the resources get into the right places ........
T. Peter Burgess
VP and CFO ATCnet
New York, USA
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