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

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said To Be Improving

Experimental drugs have been tried on six people: three Westerners and now, three African pyhysicians More

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities residents rebuild their lives, but many say everyone is being treated with suspicion More

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

Girls learn to object; FGM practitioners face penalties from jail sentences to stiff fines 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.
Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improvingi
X
Carol Pearson
August 19, 2014 11:43 PM
The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.
Video

Video For Obama, Racial Violence is Personal Issue

The racial violence in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson is presenting U.S. President Barack Obama with an issue to which he has a deep personal connection. To many Americans, Obama's election as America's first black president marked a turning point in race relations in the United States, and Obama has made ending the violence a policy priority. On Monday he issued a new call for calm and understanding. Luis Ramirez reports from the White House.
Video

Video Clinton-Obama Relationship Could Impact 2016 Election

President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have a long and complicated relationship. That relationship took another turn recently when Clinton criticized the president’s foreign policy. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports there is renewed attention on the Clinton-Obama relationship as Hillary Clinton considers running for
Video

Video Iran Looks to Maintain Influence in Baghdad With New Shia PM

Washington and Tehran share the goal of stopping Syrian-based militants in Iraq. But experts say it's Iran, not the United States, that will most influence how the new government in Baghdad approaches internal reforms and the war in Syria. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns has the story.

AppleAndroid