News / Africa

G20 Asked to Support Tax for Health and Development

Multimedia

Audio
Joe DeCapua

In Washington Friday, G20 finance ministers are holding a daylong meeting to discuss the world economy, Japan’s nuclear crisis, China’s currency and other issues. The ministers are here as part of the World Bank / IMF spring meetings.

Many NGOs and other groups are calling on them to also take up the issue of a Financial Transaction Tax [FTT], which they say it would help fund development programs, including HIV/AIDS. Funding for these programs has been cut back as nations tighten spending.

“It’s basically a tax in financial transactions that take place in a country. So, you’re looking at a small amount that’s taxed on things like stock…bonds, on shares, on whatever financial transactions there are,” said Lynette Mabote of the AIDS and Rights Alliance for Southern Africa (ARASA), based in Cape Town. It’s a regional organization working within SADC, the Southern African Development Community.

“What happens with that money is it gets put in a kitty to basically make up a good lump sum,” she said, “The reason why we are calling for it is that we are realizing that because of the world economic crisis and the failure to meet some of the commitments as set by countries, especially to the Global Fund replenishment…this would be another innovative mechanism to try and raise money for health in general in Third World countries.”

The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria distributes millions of dollars every year to HIV/AIDS programs around the world.

How much?

The FTT would range between 0.005 and 0.5 percent. Mabote called it “a blip on the system if you really were to look at it in big terms. A lot of countries already have taxations of this nature.” The money raised would be over and above what countries have officially allocated to health and development.

“Depending on which financial transaction would be targeted, we’re looking at raising in the next five years about three billion U.S. dollars, which would help quite a lot in maintaining current programs that are running and supported by PEPFAR as well as the Global fund,” she said.

PEPFAR is the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, which began under President Bush and continues under President Obama.

Currently, there’s no specific recommendation for setting up a special fund to collect the FTT revenue and distribute it. That decision would be made if and when G20 countries agree to impose it.

You May Like

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

Ali Regained Title in Historic Fight 40 Years Ago

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid