The Korean government ought to expand its financial support to help eliminate Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS), tuberculosis, and malaria from the world, a renowned expert, said Monday.
|Dr. Choi Se-moon|
“Koreans emphasize the country is the world’s 11th-largest economic to boast about its status, but the nation is less than positive in supporting the global fight against diseases,” said Dr. Choi Se-moon최세문 of the Global Fund Korean Friends, during a news conference Tuesday. The media event was aimed to strengthen the partnership between Korea and Global Fund to eradicate AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria.
Choi said the Korean government provided $33 million to Global Fund from 2004 to 2016. Seoul has donated an average of $4 million annually from 2014 to 2016 and promised to give $11.75 million for three years from 2017 to 2019 in the fifth fundraising conference.
Korea was ranked at 19th place among member countries except for private businesses and organizations. The nation’s contribution declined 2 percent compared with the fourth conference. Other member countries have made commitments 19 percent higher than the last conference on average.
Choi explained the contribution of the Korean government is far lower than Canada and Australia with similar size of the gross domestic product. It is also very small compared to the Global Fund’s contribution of 2.22 percent on average in total official development assistance.
On the cumulative basis from 2001-2016, too, Korea was at the 23rd place out of 28 countries, falling far behind Japan (fifth place), Canada (seventh), Australia (13th), and China (20th).
“The accumulated support Global Fund provided to North Korea to remove tuberculosis and malaria amounted to $94.5 million, but Korea’s contribution accounts for only 35 percent of the amount. This is too small a sum given tuberculosis and malaria occurred in North Korea can affect the south,” Choi said.
"Korea’s pharmaceutical firms and medical equipment makers recorded the annual average sales of $26 million from 2011 to 2016 by selling products to Global Fund,” Choi said. “By taking these points into account, the government should expand its contribution.”
The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria, founded in 2002, has made the public-private partnership with governments, civic organizations, research institutions, businesses and other organizations, and has collected $4 billion annually to help stamp out AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria in more than 100 countries.
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