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Cablegate: Canadians Pleased with President's Aids

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 OTTAWA 001668

SIPDIS

STATE FOR OES/IHA, OES/PCI, WHA/CAN (RUNNING)

WHITE HOUSE FOR OSTP

HHS FOR OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY, OFFICE OF
INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS (STEIGER)

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: TBIO EAID EUN
SUBJECT: Canadians Pleased with President's AIDS
Initiative

Ref. SECSTATE 146483

--------------------------
Summary and Action Request
--------------------------

1. This cable contains an action request (para.9).

2. ESTH Counselor and ESTH Specialist called on Ed
Aiston, Director General for International Affairs, and
Martin Methot, his deputy, in the Canadian Health
Ministry to discuss the President's AIDS initiative.
Aiston said the Canadian Government is very pleased
with the new USG funding to fight HIV/AIDS, and he
praised the leadership shown by the U.S. on this issue.
Aiston and Methot asked whether the new AIDS/HIV funds
will have any conditions on their disbursement, such as
a requirement for matching funds from host governments
or other sources. Canadian financial commitments to
the global fight against AIDS/HIV amount to C$470
million (about US$347 million) between 2000 and 2005.
The Canadian federal budget of February 2003 indicates
an 8 percent increase in the International Assistance
budget, and it is likely that AIDS/HIV funding will
receive a boost over the coming few years from this
source. Aiston said that Secretary Thompson's
announcement of the new AIDS funding at the recent
World Health Assembly, along with the surprise USG
support for the adoption of the Framework Convention on
Tobacco Control, set the right tone for the recent
World Health Assembly and contributed significantly to
its success. End Summary.

--------------------------------------------- ---
Canadians very pleased with USG AIDS Initiatives
--------------------------------------------- ---

3. Ed Aiston, Director General of International Affairs
at Health Canada was effusive in his praise for the new
USG funding initiative signed into law by the President
on May 27th. Aiston noted that Secretary Thompson's
announcement of the new funds, made at the World Health
Assembly (WHA) in Geneva, was "very, very, very well-
received".

4. Aiston, along with Martin Methot, Director of the
International Health Division at Health Canada posed
some questions to the EST Counselor and ESTH Specialist
regarding the new funds. Specifically, Aiston and
Methot inquired whether USG funding for AIDS programs
will require matching funds from other donors or
whether any other conditions may apply. Methot also
asked whether U.S. programs for AIDS included funds for
development of an AIDS vaccine. Post would appreciate
any clarification that WASHDC agencies could provide on
these two questions. See para.8.

5. Aiston took the opportunity of the meeting with
Emboffs, to note that Secretary Thompson's support for
the adoption of the FCTC was extremely well-received by
the assembled Health Ministers at the WHA. He praised
the Secretary's actions as a very strong example of
leadership, which generated enormous goodwill and
helped create a very positive tone for the Assembly.
Aiston remarked also that Secretary Thompson's
statement on the need for a strong and robust Global
Public Health Surveillance system was an idea that was
very well received at the WHA, and that Canada is eager
to learn more detail about this proposal.

--------------------------------------------- -
Canadian Funding for Global fight against AIDS
--------------------------------------------- -

6. In the global fight against AIDS, Canada's
contribution, on a per capita basis, is significant.
Between 2000 and 2005 the GoC will invest C$270 million
(about US$198 million) in the global fight against
AIDS, via the Canadian International Development Agency
(CIDA), the Canadian equivalent of USAID. CIDA
programs focus on working with community groups and
local organizations to provide reproductive health
services, training, education and counseling. (CIDA
often contracts with Health Canada to execute their
programs, especially those involving capacity building
because Health Canada has 75 to 100 staff members with
clinical and public health expertise pertaining to
HIV/AIDS, whereas CIDA has only a small policy planning
staff managing the AIDS/HIV file.) Methot told Embassy
officers that Canadian AIDS funds support programs in
India, China, Central and Eastern Europe, Africa and
the Caribbean.

7. In addition, Canada has committed C$150 million
(about US$110 million) to the Global Fund to fight
AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. The GoC has also
committed C$50 million (about US$37 million) to the
International AIDS Vaccine Initiative. Canadian funds
have been used to build labs in Kenya and Uganda, with
additional labs planned for Rwanda, Zambia and
Cameroon.

8. Aiston noted to Emboffs that the GoC Budget of
February 18th, 2003 indicated that the federal
government plans to increases Canada's International
Assistance budget by 8 per cent in FY2003-2004 and
again in FY 2004-05, this translates into an increase
of C$1.4 billion (about US$1 billion). Aiston
anticipates that the GOC's AIDS funding will be
augmented as a result, but no details are yet
available. Emboffs will be meeting with officials from
CIDA on June 19 to discuss CIDA's role in GoC AIDS/HIV
activities, and will seek their views on how much of
the new International Assistance funding will be
directed toward AIDS/HIV programs.

--------------
Action Request
--------------

9. Action request: Post would appreciate clarification
on whether under the President's initiative on AIDS,
the U.S. will require matching funds from other donors
or whether any other forms of conditionality may apply
to disbursement of the funds. Canadian officials are
also interested in knowing to what extent the U.S.
provides funding for the AIDS vaccine initiative.
Response may be sent by email to ESTH Counselor Curt
Stone at stonec@state.gov or to ESTH Specialist
Locklear at locklearl@state.gov.

Cellucci

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