Brazil will contribute US$ 12 million for the creation of the International Drug Purchase Facility. The funds will initially be drawn from the federal budget in the form of a special credit.
According to the Brazilian Minister of Foreign Relations, Celso Amorim, the credit will be formalized in a bill to be submitted to the National Congress, where deputies and senators must approve the contribution.
Since Tuesday, February 28, Amorim has been participating in the 1st Paris Conference on Innovative Development Financing Mechanisms, where France presented the proposal for an international drug purchase facility.
According to the Minister, Brazil’s contribution will be equivalent to the airplane ticket solidarity levy proposed to finance the facility. This funding mechanism, which was backed by Brazil at the conference, is the subject of internal debate by the government, which wants to avoid burdening consumers and establishing additional taxes.
In a speech at the 1st Plenary Session of the Conference, Amorim said that until the levy is adopted, Brazil will contribute budgetary resources equivalent to the amount expected to be collected through the funding mechanism, which is based on a US$ 2 contribution from every passenger embarking on a flight abroad.
"The challenge of eradicating hunger and poverty demands new instruments, capable of generating additional resources on stable and predictable foundations – resources that will not vary according to the whims of bureaucrats or volatile political priorities," he affirmed.
The funds received by the international drug purchase facility will be used to buy medications against AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria, to expand access to treatment in developing countries. The airline ticket solidarity levy has already been approved in France and should begin to take effect on July 1, according to Amorim.
The French expect to collect 200 million euros annually for the drug purchase facility. The proposal also received support at the conference from China, Norway, Algeria, England, and Germany.