companies pledged to do more in the fight against AIDS in
Africa this week, in a move designed to spur other
corporations into action.
come on the heels of rock star Bono's "Red" scheme,
under which companies with global brands--from credit
cards to clothing--agree to channel a portion of
profits to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS,
Tuberculosis, and Malaria.
policymakers are attending a Global Business Coalition on
HIV/AIDS meeting at Reuters Group headquarters in London to
discuss ways to tackle the pandemic, which has already
killed 25 million people.
A key objective
is finding new ways to mobilize resources for the Global
Fund, which provides lifesaving medicines and money for HIV
prevention programs to developing countries.
Chartered, which has extensive banking operations in Africa,
said it was offering a second staff to help countries manage
HIV projects more efficiently.
consultancy Accenture is also providing management
expertise, while Nike Foundation and Becton Dickinson are
each giving $200,000 for support programs.
the world are becoming increasingly concerned about the
impact of AIDS, according to a survey in January by the
World Economic Forum, which found that 46% of them
expected it to affect their operations in the next
With an estimated
40.3 million people living with HIV worldwide and a
record 4.9 million new infections last year, the disease has
the potential to cripple economies and decimate
workforces, hitting the bottom line of many
Chartered, for example, calculates that more than 10% of its
Kenyan employees are off work every day as a result of AIDS,
either because they are sick, caring for relatives, or
attending a funeral. (Reuters)