UN-backed fund against disease seeks to ramp up spending by 2010

UN-backed fund against disease seeks to ramp up spending by 2010

The United Nations-backed Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria needs to treble its spending by 2010 to keep up with demand for its financing that is projected to rise around the world, especially in developing countries, the Fund’s Board agreed today.

The Fund is seeking between $6 billion and $8 billion each year from 2008 to 2010, depending on the level of demand in the world’s poorest countries, the Board concluded at a meeting in Geneva.

Executive Director Michel Kazatchkine called the new projected spending “an inspiring challenge” to both donors and the people who work on Fund-backed projects in more than 130 nations.

“The Board’s vision of tripling or even quadrupling the size of the Global Fund is a strong vote of confidence for our work. Programmes we support are currently saving 3,000 lives per day,” Dr. Kazatchkine said.

“The increase in funding will allow the world to do much, much more, to reach G-8 and UN goals like providing AIDS treatment to all who need it, having every African child sleep under a bed net, and cutting the death toll of TB in half.”

Recognizing that raising $6-8 billion per year requires substantially increased contributions, the Board called on all stakeholders to play their part to mobilize the extra funding. Donors will meet in Berlin in September to secure initial funding pledges for the 2008-2010 period.

Set up in 2002 on the initiative of then Secretary-General Kofi Annan, the Global Fund is a public-private partnership that has committed $7.1 billion so far to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria in 136 countries. The three diseases kill more than 6 million people a year, and that number is growing.

The Fund the Fund works closely with international partners, including the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and the UN World Health Organization (WHO), on many of the projects it supports.