sexta-feira, maio 27, 2005

Portugal não tem dinheiro para cooperação

E.U. Ministers Approve Global Health Action Plan, Set Development Aid Spending Targets

Foreign and development ministers from the European Union on Tuesday approved a global health action plan to fight HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria and agreed to increase development aid in the "hope of shaming other rich donors into giving more," Reuters AlertNet reports (Moller, Reuters AlertNet, 5/24). The European Commission last month adopted the "Programme for Action: Accelerated Action on HIV/AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis in the Context of Poverty Reduction," which suggests E.U. governments in their 2007-2013 budgetary discussions agree to help fill the financing gap of efforts to fight the three diseases, which the United Nations estimates will be $14.9 billion annually by 2007. The proposal says the expanded program should include the distribution of insecticide-treated nets and condoms at no cost, increased access to counseling and testing for HIV/AIDS, and the promotion of affordable drugs, research and education programs. The proposal also calls on E.U. governments to help launch political dialogue about the stigma, discrimination and human rights issues facing people living with the diseases, as well as address specific concerns of vulnerable groups, such as orphans and children (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 5/24).

Spending Targets
The E.U. ministers also set international development aid spending targets to help meet the goal of spending 0.7% of their gross national incomes on aid in 10 years, Reuters AlertNet reports. Meeting the interim targets set by the ministers would increase development aid to $25 billion annually beginning in 2010. The 15 oldest E.U. member states agreed to spend at least 0.51% of their GNI on development aid by 2010 and at least 0.7% by 2015. The 10 newest members -- mostly from Eastern Europe -- pledged to spend at least 0.17% of their GNI by 2010 to reach a target of 0.33% by 2015. Only four E.U. member nations -- Denmark, Sweden, the Netherlands and Luxembourg -- already have met 2015 spending targets. Germany, Italy and Portugal issued statements following the meeting "pointing to difficulties" with their national budgets and highlighting E.U. regulations that limit members' abilities to borrow, according to Reuters AlertNet. However, Luxembourg's Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid Minister Jean-Louis Schiltz said the statements should not be seen as "escape clause[s]," Reuters AlertNet reports. "Some member states have expressed difficulties. ... (But) the main thing is that, despite those difficulties, those countries have committed themselves," he added. E.U. heads of state are expected to endorse the action plan at a summit next month, Reuters AlertNet reports.

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