China is depriving poor countries of badly-needed cash to fight Aids, malaria and tuberculosis by exploiting a loophole to drain an aid fund, a former official has complained.
The global fund was set up for rich countries to pool their donations in the fight against three of the world’s deadliest diseases Photo: ALAMY
Despite its $2.4 trillion of foreign reserves, China is the fourth-largest recipient of aid money, worth $1 billion (£640 million), from the Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria, behind Ethiopia, India and Tanzania.
The fund was set up eight years ago for rich countries to pool their donations in the fight against three of the world’s deadliest diseases. “We imagined the bulk of the money ending up in places like Lesotho, Haiti and Uganda, where these three diseases have reached crisis levels,” said Jack Chow, the lead US negotiator in the founding of the fund, to Foreign Policy magazine.
Instead, he said, China had systematically exploited the set-up of the fund in order to win more aid grants than 29 African countries. “China has aggressively pursued Global Fund grants and has continued to win significant amounts with every passing year,” he said, adding: “Any grants that China wins reduce the remaining money available for all eligible countries.”
Despite recently becoming the world’s second-largest economy, and announcing more than $125 billion in new health spending for the countryside last year, China still receives three times as much to fight Aids and malaria than South Africa, one of the worst-afflicted countries.
“China has won malaria grant money totalling $149 million in a country where only 38 deaths from the illness were reported last year,” said Mr Chow. “That is more money than the Democratic Republic of Congo, which reported nearly 25,000 malaria deaths in the same period.” Continue reading »
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