Brazil Vows to Help International Fund for AIDS and TB

The Brazilian Minister of Foreign Relations, Celso Amorim, said yesterday, July 6, that Brazil intends to assist in the implementation of the International Drug Purchase Facility (IDPF) by contributing a share of the federal budget until the country devises a mechanism to charge a tax on airline tickets.

The purpose of the IDPF is to buy cheaper medicines to use in the fight against AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis, diseases which are more prevalent in developing countries. Since July 1st the tax has been collected in France.

Brazil and more than 40 other countries and international agencies are discussing this and other proposals at the First Plenary Meeting of the Pilot Group on Innovative Development Finance Mechanisms, which is being held in Brazil. The meeting ends today.

Brazil plans to levy a US$ 2 tax on international flight tickets. According to the minister, the financial impact on the ticket price "will not amount to anything, but it can make a big difference for the poor and very poor who are dying."

Amorim pointed out that the rich countries already allocate 0.7% of their GDP (Gross Domestic Product) to international aid and that Brazil, although it is not obliged to make this type of contribution, has a "government commitment" to help raise funds for the IDPF.

The IDPF is expected to begin operations in September with a budget of US$ 300 million provided by Brazil, France, Chile, Norway, and the United Kingdom.

ABr

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