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Group laying foundation for global anti-AIDS fund completes preparatory work

Group laying foundation for global anti-AIDS fund completes preparatory work

The panel laying the groundwork for the new anti-AIDS fund that has been championed by United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan has concluded its activities, paving the way for the first meeting of the fund's newly formed Board early next year.

The Transitional Working Group, that had been set up to transform the idea of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria into reality completed its work on Monday in Brussels. The Group, comprising nearly 40 representatives from developing countries, donor nations, non-governmental organizations, the private sector and the UN system, is now prepared to hand over its recommendations to the Board, which will meet in late January to review the panel's proposals and adopt a framework document.

Over the past several months, the Group has been engaged in negotiations to design basic guidelines concerning the Fund. The Fund will be set up as an independent legal entity to ensure autonomy and flexibility. It represents a novel approach to international health issues with an intense emphasis on public-private partnership, the achievement of results, independent technical validation of proposals, together with efficient processes for utilizing resources.

Approximately $1.6 billion has been committed already to the Fund from governments, corporations, foundations and private individuals. A number of these commitments are multiyear, giving the Fund approximately $700 million to disburse in 2002. The World Bank will act as a trustee of its finances, with primary responsibility for financial accountability, including collection, investment and management of funds, disbursement of funds to countries and programmes, and financial reporting to stakeholders.

A small, independent secretariat will be located in Geneva to manage the Fund's flow of work and support the Board.