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UN-backed Global Fund awards almost $3 billion to fight killer diseases

UN-backed Global Fund awards almost $3 billion to fight killer diseases

A newborn whose mother is HIV-positive
The United Nations-backed Global Fund announced today that it has approved 94 new grants worth $2.75 billion to projects aimed at fighting HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.

These latest grants bring the Global Fund’s overall commitment to combating the three diseases to more than $14 billion and will finance projects over the next two years to low-income countries around the world.

“This is the highest amount of new financing approved by the Global Fund ever,” said Rajat Gupta, Chair of the Global Fund Board, which met in New Delhi, India, over the weekend to make decisions over the allocation of the money.

“These new resources will significantly help the world in achieving global targets such as universal access to AIDS treatment and prevention, and cutting the number of deaths from tuberculosis and malaria by half by 2015,” added Mr. Gupta.

Programmes combating malaria will receive just over half of the funding, and AIDS and TB initiatives will get 38 per cent and 11 per cent respectively.

Africa and the Middle East will see the vast majority of the grants awarded, with 77 per cent of the total. Asia and the Western Pacific will receive 14 per cent, Latin America and the Caribbean 6 per cent and Eastern Europe and Central Asia another 6 per cent.

“We have a fantastic message to bring back to the rich nations of the world: programmes to fight these three diseases save lives, reduce disease burdens, and strengthen health systems,” said the Executive Director of the Global Fund, Michel Kazatchkine.

Programmes backed by the Fund are estimated to have already provided AIDS treatment to 1.75 million patients and TB treatment for 3.9 million people. They have also distributed 59 million insecticide-treated bed nets to prevent malaria.