Geldof: Fund the Last Mile

"AIDS 2014 Conference Melbourne Australia"

Sir Bob Geldof has called for more funding for HIV programs in developing countries during his appearance at AIDS 2014, the 20th World AIDS conference.

Geldof told delegates at AIDS conference, that the “preposterous reluctance” of governments to fund HIV programs in developing countries is “disgraceful”, especially as the journey to the end of the HIV epidemic is “in the last mile”.

The renowned anti-poverty campaigner made the as he reflected on the impact of HIV on developing nations. Geldof was highly critical of Australia’s falling level of contribution to the  United Nation’s Official Development Assistance.

Geldof said that the HIV epidemic in low income countries is “inextricably linked” to poverty, and he strongly criticized wealthy nations including Australia for reneging on foreign aid commitments.

“When a government makes a promise, regardless of its political stripe, it is not signing the name of the prime minister of the day to that promise, it is signing the sovereign will of the people to that promise, it is signing the name of the Australian people,” Geldof said.

“The Australian people gave their word to the poorest people of this planet. You can’t mess with your sovereign promise to the poor, they are too vulnerable, they are too weak. It’s like beating an infant.”

In the federal budget is was announced that Australia would be cutting it’s foreign aid budget by 7.6 billion over the next five years.

OIP Staff

Image: AIDS 2014 Conference Melbourne Australia. The 20th International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2014) held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC), Melbourne, Australia. International AIDS Society/ James Braund © 2014. Photo shows Sir Bob Geldoff being interviewed on stage by Waleed Aly.

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