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Global AIDS and Health Fund to start disbursing money by late 2001

Global AIDS and Health Fund to start disbursing money by late 2001

As contributions to the Global AIDS and Health Fund - an initiative of Secretary-General Kofi Annan - continue to pour in, the United Nations and its partners are finalizing the Fund's technical aspects so that it can become operational by the end of this year.

"Only if the Fund is run in an effective and imaginative way will the various public and private donors make contributions to it," said the Secretary-General, who was briefed on Monday in New York by Dr. Chrispus Kiyonga, the Chairman of a transitional working group tasked with setting up the Fund.

Starting with the founding contribution of the United States last May, the Fund has already received nearly $1.5 billion in commitments from a wide range of donors - governments, foundations, the corporate sector and individuals.

"These next three months will give me some of the greatest challenges I have ever faced," said Dr. Kiyonga, a Ugandan Cabinet member who served previously as his country's Health Minister and Finance Minister. "Our task is to develop a new structure and working methods that will enable the Fund to spend resources most cost-effectively and in ways that produce measurable results."

The decision to create a transitional working group and secretariat was taken at a meeting in July of nearly 40 donor and developing countries, as well as multilateral organizations, foundations, non-governmental groups and the corporate sector. The group's mandate is to build the foundations of the Fund itself. In doing so, it will seek to ensure that money coming into the Fund is additional and complementary to already existing resources, linked to the achievement of measurable results, supportive of country-led processes, not likely to increase transaction costs for countries and donors, and representative of a genuine international partnership.

The Fund's ultimate goal will be to build on the existing high-level political commitment to mobilizing additional resources, and to channel them to developing countries to ensure rapid progress in addressing the huge challenges caused by HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis.