Japanese NGOs petition their government to increase aid for international health

30 June 2009

Civil Society organizations, led by Africa Japan Forum (an APA member) and Japan AIDS and Society Association submitted a petition to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, concerning the current financial gap faced by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

The petition was supported by 16 Japanese NGOs, 50 Internatonal NGOs, 509 Japanese individuals and also contained endorsements from Hideyo Noguchi Africa Prize Winners Dr Miriam Were, Prof Brian Greenwood and former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and current Co-Director of AIDS-Free World, Stephen Lewis. The petition called on Japan to provide emergency funding for the US$5 billion gap faced by the Global Fund and urged that Japan pay the remaining US$316 million by calendar year 2010 and to make a new commitment in 2010.

Mr Masato Kitera, Director General of the International Cooperation Bureau of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, accepted the petition and spoke of the importance of the Global Fund. He showed concern about the current economic climate of budget cuts among different ministries.

With this petition, civil society is pushing the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to submit a budget proposal with the largest amount possible for the Global Fund. The second half of the campaign will be launched in October to coincide with the budget making process of the Ministry of Finance.

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