November 17, 2009
At their meeting last week, the directors of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria approved its second-largest round of grants to fight the diseases. Recommended funding totaled $2.4 billion over two years, $350 million less than last year's $2.75 billion, which was approved before the global economic downturn.
However, the Global Fund may be unable to sustain even this reduced level, said Executive Director Michel Kazatchkine, unless wealthy countries and donors increase their commitments.
"We are seeing a tremendous demand for funding," Kazatchkine said. "Countries are showing that they are able to effectively turn large amounts of money from donors into prevention, care and treatment of AIDS, TB and malaria, which in turn will save millions of lives. It also means that we need significantly more resources in the future. We may not be able to continue approving such amounts of financing and see continued progress in health in the coming years unless donor countries scale-up their funding even further than what they have done so far."
The board decided to launch the next round of grants in May 2010, with recommendations for approvals to follow between November 2010 and January 2011. During the meeting, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Ethiopia's health minister, was elected to chair the board next year.
"These grants enable countries around the world to address some of the main problems they are struggling with every day," Ghebreyesus said. "These grants are based on the countries' own needs and priorities and they are therefore a particularly effective source of financing."
Voice of America News
11.15.2009; Peter Heinlein
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