Want to fight AIDS? Put your money where your mouth is.

From today’s Washington Post:

Last week President Bush hosted a White House summit on malaria. “We know exactly what it takes to treat and prevent the disease,” Mr. Bush said, referring to insecticide-treated bed nets and other simple measures. “The only question is whether we have the will to act.” […]The question is whether health systems in poor countries will be boosted so that circumcision is an option for those who want it.

Action on such issues requires institutions; unfortunately the Global Fund for AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria is in disarray. The fund provides one-fifth of all donor funding for AIDS, nearly half for TB and two-thirds for malaria; it is central to the battle against all three diseases. But five years after its creation, the fund’s first leader, Richard G.A. Feachem, is stepping down; last month, donors and recipient countries on the organization’s board deadlocked over the choice of a successor.

In other words, say one thing straight to my face, and do another one behind my back. It’s of no use to have these institutions if (1) there’s not firm leadership, and (2) if said fund is being held back by certain donor countries not giving the amount of money they pledged to donate in the first place.

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