Resolution Number: A150 Revised

Subject: Support for Partnership for Life Campaign

Moved By: Cecily Hinton, from the Diocese of Quebec

Seconded By: Godfrey Mawejje, from the Diocese of Rupert’s Land

Note: The mover and the seconder must be members of the General Synod and be present in the House when the resolution is before the synod for debate.

BE IT RESOLVED:

That this General Synod:

1. Endorse the Partnership for Life Campaign of PWRDF, urging the Government of Canada to

2. Ask the General Secretary to convey these concerns by letter to the Prime Minister at his earliest convenience.


EXPLANATORY NOTE/BACKGROUND INFORMATION:


In the Jubilee Initiative and prior to it, the General Synod has joined the global call for cancellation of debt and for an end to debt-servicing measures that erode heath infrastructure and social services in the world’s poorest countries. 1

The global HIV/AIDS epidemic killed more than 3 million people in 2003, and an estimated 5 million acquired the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), bringing to 40 million the number of people living with the virus around the world.2

In most Sub-Saharan Africa, HIV’s prevalence in the general population, and in women in particular, is alarming and does not show signs of weakening. Sub-Saharan Africa is home to between 25 to 28.2 million of people living with AIDS. At the present time, 2.3 million have died from the disease in 2003. Unlike women in other regions in the world, African women are considerably more likely – at least 1.2 times - to be infected with HIV than men. Among young people aged 15-24, this ratio is highest. In countries such as Botswana and Swaziland pregnant women have an infection prevalence rate of almost 40%. The economic and social impact of the pandemic is overwhelming. HIV/AIDS is undermining the economic development efforts throughout Africa. In 2001, at least 11 million children had already lost one or both parents to AIDS. As the breadwinners become sick or die, the levels of poverty are rising and the little existing savings are being used up in providing care for the sick and covering for funeral expenses. The farms are not being cared for because of the death of farmers or time taken to care for the sick, hence food production has decreased. Other sectors, such as health and teaching are losing sustained numbers of trained people and leaving a gap of transferable skills that are so essential to development. In some Sub-Saharan countries, life expectancy has dropped from sixty years of age to the low forties.

Beyond Sub-Saharan Africa, countries such as China, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, India, Russia, Vietnam, and several Central Asian Republics have seen their infection rates of HIV/AIDS rise. In 2003, 230,000 people were infected with the HIV virus in Eastern Europe and Central Asia.3 Over one million people in Asia and the Pacific acquired HIV in 2003, bringing to an estimated 7.4 million the number of people in the region now living with the virus.

There is a well-proven consensus that anti-retroviral medicines prolong the lives of people living with AIDS. Preserving the lives of people living with HIV/AIDS is an economic necessity as well as a moral imperative. The Global Fund was established as a result of the efforts from thousands of peoples at the grassroots level to pressure their respective governments to give a global response to the public health emergency posed by AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Providing access to care remains a major challenge in Africa where HIV/AIDS presents an enormous economical burden to families, communities and health care systems. The Global Fund is a unique cooperative endeavor between private and public partners to advance global public health by improving underlying health systems. The Fund is helping to build homegrown programs that help people living with AIDS in an unprecedented scale. In order to meet the challenges of all three diseases, the Fund needs to raise $7-10 billion a year, hence the total amount pledged in 2002 has been estimated at $725 million.4 Canada has contributed $US 25 million per year for four years – about $1US per Canadian, far below the fair share we can afford. A House of Commons committee has recommended that Canada triple its support for the Global Fund.

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1 General Synod Resolution Act (#60) of June 1986, the Council of the General Synod of November 8-10, 2002, Resolution 33-11-12, the Anglican Consultative Council –12/2002, Resolution 2, and the Council of General Synod of May 2003, Resolution 20-05-03, the above resolution builds on these acts of General Synod and the Council of General Synod.

2 UNAIDS/WHO – AIDS Epidemic Update: December 2003

3 UNAIDS/WHO – AIDS Epidemic Update: December 2003

4Global Fund Update for NGOS and Civil Society, June 2003

 

-- Carried Unanimously

 

Source: PWRDF Board
Partners in Mission Committee
  (name of committee, diocese, etc.)
Submitted by: EcoJustice Committee