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The Global Fund and South African taxation

The UN news service just reported that the Global Fund FINALLY released funds for South African AIDS treatment, and several leading actors are quoted expressing profound relief, citing a long delay from promise to payment. Of course, the context is a country with the world’s largest number of people infected with HIV and in need of treatment.

Meanwhile, the SA finance minister just proclaimed the good health of the country’s economy and announced a series of tax breaks.

Hmm, do I smell a recipe for donor resentment? Maybe SA should be footing a bit more of the bill for AIDS treatment and let extremely scarce global fund monies go to countries where there is little economic base or potential for tax collection? Good governance should not be punished, but in a moment of increasingly scarce resources for a critical problem, maybe some budget adjustments would be in order?

About Evan Lieberman

I am a Professor of Political Science at MIT, and I conduct research, write, and teach about development, ethnic politics, and research methods.

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