Bruni to G8: Don't Let Recession Kill AIDS Funding

We've made progress—now don't let economy destroy it
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jul 8, 2009 10:36 AM CDT
French President Nicolas Sarkozy's wife Carla Bruni-Sarkozy is seen as Sarkozy addresses parliament members at the Versailles castle, west of Paris, Monday, June 22, 2009.   (AP Photo/Eric Feferberg, Pool)
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(Newser) – Carla Bruni-Sarkozy gets in the op-ed game today, urging G8 leaders who are converging on L’Aquila, Italy, to continue the commitment their predecessors made 8 years ago to fighting HIV/AIDS in Africa. The earlier initiative helped the Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria save some 4 million people, the French first lady says in a piece in the Guardian. Now, leaders must not let the economic crisis dismantle the life-saving program. “We have made inspiring and dramatic progress, but this journey has just begun.”

“This revolution is beginning to transform Africa, yet much of the progress made in reducing poverty over the past decades is under threat from the effects of the global economic crisis,” writes Bruni. “Health investments reduce inequities, however, and at a time of economic hardship, they are more important than ever to preserve social stability," she notes. “Over 300,000 children—mostly in Africa—are still infected with HIV every year,” and we have the power to help them.