How to overcome inequalities, a lesson from Christoph
By Christoph Benn
The increasing inequality within almost all societies and the still huge inequity between countries and communities is one of the most important challenges in our world today.
One way to address these inequities is by facilitating financial transfers from those who can afford to provide others with better opportunities in life. This responds to one of the core Christian values based on our firm belief that all human being are created as equals in the imagine of God.
Probably no other community has put these principles into practice in a way as radical as the global AIDS movement.
It was people living with HIV in rich countries who first argued that if they had access to life-saving treatment, then all people living with HIV should receive it regardless of where they were born and whether their communities were rich or poor.
They were the first to take the universal human right to health (and therefore to life) seriously in a practical way.
The Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria can be described in many different ways.
Yes, it is a financial institution created with the support of the UN and the G7 but most of all it became the organizational instrument of the global AIDS movement with the mandate to ensure that all people affected by these diseases should receive full access to prevention, care and treatment all over the world.
This model inspired so many people that the Global Fund has received financial contributions of more than 50USD billion since its creation in 2002.
Rich and poor governments, corporations, foundations and increasingly also wealthy individuals from poor countries are supporting this pool of funding that has been supporting by now tens of millions of people in around 150 countries.
The model is now being applied to many other global problems. Global funds have been established for education, climate change mitigation, freedom from slavery and other burning issues. It can therefore be considered a particular model for overcoming inequities on a global scale.
Questions we considered in our ELCG weekly forum conversation were:
Will global solidarity continue in a climate of increasing nationalism and inward looking populist movements?
Can the Global Fund model be applied to other areas that we care about as a community?
How is the model related to faith communities and their strong conviction of all human beings being entitled to equal opportunities?
(NDLR: This forum, along with others, is documented on our website)