Technical brief |

MSF Briefing Document for G8, Evian, France


Today, 19,000 people will die from HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, sleeping sickness and kala-azar. These and other infectious diseases will kill a total of 14 million people this year, despite the countless promises and political commitments made by Group of Eight (G8) countries since the July 2000 G8 Summit in Okinawa, Japan, and the December 2000 Okinawa Conference on Infectious Diseases, where a major initiative to tackle infectious diseases was launched.

In Okinawa, the G8 endorsed the following goals:

    • Reducing the number of HIV/AIDS-infected young people by 25% by 2010
    • Reducing tuberculosis deaths and prevalence of the disease by 50% by 2010
    • Reducing the burden of disease associated with malaria by 50% by 2010.

  We are now one third of the way towards 2010, but no nearer these targets. Indeed, in some cases we are further away than ever:

The number of HIV-infected children under the age of 15 has nearly tripled, from 1.3 million in 2000 to 3.2 million in 2002. The total number of people living with HIV overall increased from 34 million to 42 million during the same time. More than 3 million people died of HIV/AIDS in 2002 alone.

Global TB prevalence increased slightly (by 1.5%) with TB prevalence in Africa increasing at four times this rate .

Malaria incidence remained unchanged, but mortality in children under the age of five has increased 2 to 5 times in parts of Africa in parallel with growing drug resistance.

Each year, on the occasion of the annual G8 summits, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) urges G8 countries to uphold the commitments they have made and to mobilise the political will and financial resources necessary to mount a credible response to the death, destruction, and human suffering caused by infectious diseases in developing countries. Each year, we remind G8 leaders that their annual summits offer an unparalleled opportunity for the world’s wealthiest nations to boldly transform the goals and commitments that have been made on paper or in lofty speeches into real, life-saving interventions. And each year, we bear witness to yet more unnecessary deaths as a result of political failure to act on these commitments. The time for serious political action is long overdue.