China’s Billion-Dollar Aid Appetite

Foreign Policy reports:

Over the eight years since the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria first launched, China has applied for and been awarded nearly $1 billion in grants, becoming the fourth-largest recipient of funds behind Ethiopia, India, and Tanzania. Already, the country has drawn nearly $500 million from this credit line and soon expects to receive $165 million in new grants. China’s aggregate award from the fund is nearly three times larger than that of South Africa, one of the most affected countries from these three diseases. Moreover, China has won malaria grant money totaling $149 million (and $89 million more might be on the way) — in a country where only 38 deaths from the mosquito-borne illness were reported last year. That is more than the $122 million awarded to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which reported nearly 25,000 malaria deaths during the same period. In fact, only seven sub-Saharan African countries receive more malaria aid than China — and 29 countries in Africa get less. Combined, those 29 countries report 64,000 deaths from the disease each year.

China has aggressively pursued Global Fund grants and has continued to win significant amounts with every passing year. Beijing does make a nominal contribution to the fund of $2 million annually, meaning that it has donated $16 million over the last eight years. By comparison, the United States, the leading donor, has committed $5.5 billion, and France has offered $2.5 billion over the same period. These contributing countries expect no financial return for their gift, but China has recouped its spending by 60 times.

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