Today, December 1, is World AIDS Day. It’s a good time to remind ourselves that ONE.org is working diligently for and with the poorest of the poor in the fight against AIDS. These are perilous days for international aid programs as governments around the world consider austerity plans, which usually include a reduction of foreign assistance. The U.S. Congress will be faced with the same decisions about spending cuts within the coming weeks.
Bono has often reminded us that this effort is about justice, not charity. On ONE’s front page he says, “…the world is more malleable than you think and it’s waiting for you to hammer it into shape.” What a great thought: that we can actually change systems on behalf of those who have no voice.
TIME reports in a recent story:
In recognition of this year’s World AIDS Day, U2 singer and global activist Bono is stepping up his fight against HIV/AIDS by personally lobbying American legislators to maintain funding for global AIDS initiatives and awareness…. Bono showed up in Washington a few weeks after the presidential election to make his case and he didn’t just bring star-appeal, he brought data.
Here are a few stats:
More than 8 million people are on life-saving antiretroviral therapy
1 billion poor people are better off because of investments made between 1970 and 1990
More than 5.5 million child deaths were averted through vaccinations by the end of 2011
New HIV infections among children have dropped by 40%
The US uses less than 1% of its annual budget to fund life-saving programs