By J. Ferguson
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
The Graduate and Professional Student Council passed a resolution last week asking Arizona's Congressional delegation to increase funding to support the reduction of transmittable diseases in other countries.
The resolution asks Congress for increased support in the fight against AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria by allocating additional funds for the education and prevention of the diseases, said Elaine Ulrich, GPSC president.
The resolution is designed to put political pressure on Rep. Jim Kolbe (R, Ariz.) to allocate $500 million for the United Nations Global Fund, as opposed to the $400 million he currently supports, organizers said.
John McElligott, a graduate student in the College of Public Health, said Global Fund needs $840 million this year to fight the spread of AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.
The funds would go toward the United Nations Global Fund, which would distribute the money throughout 128 nations. More than 97 percent of the money the Fund receives is distributed to the program, while the other 3 percent is used for administrative costs, McElligott said.
Global Fund combines several programs that encourage prevention, treatment, community support and improvements to health infrastructure to reduce the transmission of the three diseases.
The GPSC resolution acknowledges the looming threat these diseases pose internationally and wants to help fight the diseases by lobbying Arizona leaders for more funding, Ulrich said.
A similar resolution will be presented to the Associated Students of the University of Arizona in the near future, asking for a similar statement of support, McElligott said.
"While the U.S. continues to deal with domestic disasters, both natural and man-made, some of our nation's most powerful leaders have stated the pandemics of AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria are among the greatest threats to US and global security," the GPSC said in a press release.
To help in the efforts against AIDS, the UA club Global Alliance is also lobbying for more money for Global Fund, and is planning on holding events on the UA campus on World AIDS Day on Dec. 1.