To the Editor:
“The Complicated Business of Caring About Africa” [June 12] focuses cynically on the misuse of funds in one country, Uganda, while ignoring the incredible impact aid, used well, is making in 130 other countries around the world.
Grants from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria are providing life-saving AIDS medicine to 1.1 million poor people around the world and 30 million bed nets to protect poor children from malaria—death by mosquito bite. The Global Fund also supports South African clinics fighting drug resistant TB so it doesn’t kill more Africans (or us).
Andrew Rice focuses on the misuse of a Global Fund grant in Uganda. He is absolutely right that the officials there who stole from poor people needing AIDS treatment must be held accountable, and the Global Fund is helping ensure that they are. In fact, he knows about this theft because the Global Fund immediately—and publicly—suspended payments until the issue was dealt with. We hold every beneficiary accountable and not just for honesty, but for results.
The Global Fund supports local groups, using local solutions to fight the worst three pandemics—AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria—in Africa and much of the developing world. The results are measurable and add up to more than 1.9 million lives saved so far.
Mr. Rice also criticizes celebrities who use their visibility to bring more attention to the issue of AIDS and extreme poverty. But Bono and RED and Vanity Fair are making fighting AIDS more appealing, and as a result, thousands more lives are being saved. What’s wrong with that?
The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria