UK, Germany Partnership To Increase Aid To Fight HIV/AIDS

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British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and German Chancellor Angela Merkelon Wednesday announced a global health campaign aimed at increasing aidto fight HIV/AIDS and other diseases in developing countries, Reutersreports. The campaign, titled the International Health Partnership,will bring together donor nations -- such as Britain, Canada, Germanyand Norway -- as well as the World Health Organization and the World Bank.The partnership, which also aims to reduce child and maternal mortalityin developing countries, officially will be launched on Sept. 5. Underthe partnership, donor nations will submit long-term health plans, andinternational groups will pledge to better coordinate funding andon-the-ground efforts (Reuters, 8/22).


Fighting diseases such as HIV/AIDS and reducing child and maternal mortality are included in the U.N. Millennium Development Goals,Brown and Merkel said, adding that the health-related MDGs are leastlikely to be met by 2015. They added that international aid to addresshealth is "over-complex" and "fragmented" and that a lack ofinfrastructure in developing countries is hindering efforts to fightHIV/AIDS and other diseases, AFP/Yahoo! Newsreports. The partnership will link donor support with existing healthplans to coordinate health care activities, according to Brown andMerkel.

The leaders hope to create "sustainable health systems"that "deliver improved outcomes," according to a joint statement. Theyadded that the partnership is a "critical step" in meeting the MDGs by2015. "Our efforts must bring together the private sectors,[nongovernmental organizations], faith groups, international agenciesand governments" to "reduce poverty, improve health and provideopportunities for the poor across the world," Brown and Merkel said inthe statement (AFP/Yahoo! News, 8/22).

The announcement comes after the Group of Eight industrialized nations in June pledged to increase aid to developing countries. Alison Woodhead, head of health and education for Oxfam,said the partnership could "save lives by coordinating investment inhealth care that is free, public and well-staffed." Woodhead added thatBrown and Merkel should be "congratulated for following through ontheir G8 promises to improve health care. The challenge for them now isto make sure other countries get on board to ensure maximum impact" (Reuters, 8/22).

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