New global fund shows world's resolve to fight AIDS, TB and malaria, Annan says
A new Global Fund to fight AIDS, tuberculosis (TB) and malaria offers hope that the international community is resolved to combat these deadly diseases, Secretary-General Kofi Annan told the institution's Board today as it held a meeting in New York.
"The Global Fund is more than a new channel of funding," said Mr. Annan. "It is a signal that the world is willing to make a decisive move to reduce the burden of these major communicable diseases - the long-standing threats of TB and malaria, and the newer and most devastating threat, AIDS."
Outlining the major challenges ahead, the Secretary-General, who has been a Patron of the Global Fund since its inception, said they included "moving quickly, ensuring that its resources have a maximum impact where they are most needed, and helping to mobilize further commitment and resources."
"The world needs to see that all the Fund's stakeholders are capable of acting together swiftly and efficiently," he told the 23-member Board, which represents a broad set of constituents. "You will need to show that effective strategies are available, can be funded and will make a difference."
The Secretary-General emphasized that the Fund should not be the only source of resources in the fight against AIDS. "We must all get across the message that the Fund is part of concerted international action for health and development," he said.
An independent, public-private partnership, the Global Fund aims to save more lives by reducing infections, illness and death due to HIV/AIDS, TB, or malaria, which together are responsible for nearly 6 million deaths a year, as well as tremendous social and economic hardship. To date, industrialized and developing countries, corporations, foundations and individuals have pledged some $1.9 billion to the Fund.