HIV/Aids campaigners delivered eight giant clear plastic bags filled with empty pill bottles to Downing Street on Monday, symbolising unfulfilled promises to deliver treatment to millions of people suffering from the virus. The protest was organised by Action Aid on the eve of the G8 meeting at Sea Island in the US. The anti-poverty campaign says Tony Blair and other G8 leaders have failed to deliver the funds promised in 2001 for the Global Fund to Fight Aids, TB and Malaria. More than 6 million people have died of Aids since that date, and only 7 per cent of HIV/Aids sufferers have access to life-saving anti-retroviral medicines.
Pledges to the fund stand at $840m compared to the $3.3bn promised in 2001. Development campaigners are pinning hopes on the meeting to deliver pledges on combating Aids, debt reduction and increased aid spending.