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PATAM Calls on African Ministers of Finance to put HIV/AIDS on the Agenda at the IMF and WORLD BANK Spring Meetings
Pan African Treatment Access Movement (PATAM)
April 22, 2004

On April 24 -25, 2004, African Ministers of Finance will be convening in Washington DC for the annual International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank Spring Meetings to review the two institutions' operations. Given that the HIV/AIDS epidemic is the greatest threat facing the African continent today, the members of the PATAM called on all African Finance Minister to consider the HIV/AIDS as an issue affecting all other critical developmental issues. PATAM is an Africa-wide movement advocating for access to HIV/AIDS treatment and other essential medicines.

Through an open letter to their respective Ministers of Finance, PATAM members urged African governments to support initiatives that will contain and reverse the steady march of the epidemic. PATAM emphasised the important of governments enhancing the current efforts by the World Bank and IMF against HIV/AIDS but rejecting those initiatives that hamper access to life-saving and affordable medicines for people living with HIV/AIDS.

"We charge you [Ministers of Finance] with this responsibility and remain ready to offer any support necessarily but also reserve the right to use all tools available to us should we feel that you do not represent the interests of all peoples in our countries. Millions of lives are at stake!" .

PATAM called on the Ministers of Finance to use the Spring Meetings to:

  • Ensure that urgent attention is paid to building the internal capacity of African countries to marshal their own resources against HIV/AIDS.
  • Reject fiscal conditions that imply a decline in additional donated revenues for HIV/AIDS. Demand full debt cancellation.
  • Support efforts to highlight transparency, accountability and representation in the IMF and World Bank.
  • Encourage financial plans and budgets that focus on developing the capacity of African countries.

Currently of the 42 million people living with HIV/AIDS worldwide, 28 million are in Africa. The HIV and AIDS epidemic is no longer just a health issue, but one that affects the social, cultural, political and economic environment of African countries. National governments are taking steps to respond to the epidemic, yet much more needs to be done.

Read the open letter

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