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US approves almost $1 billion for UN-backed fund against killer diseases

US approves almost $1 billion for UN-backed fund against killer diseases

TB patient signs a register after taking his medication
The United Nations-backed Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria today welcomed an announcement by the United States Congress that it will donate $900 million to its cause for this year.

This latest pledge from the US is its highest ever to the Fund and is $60 million more than its donation for 2008, taking the country’s total contribution to more than $4.4 billion.

“The United States is a leader in the fight against infectious diseases,” said Michel Kazatchkine, Executive Director of the Global Fund.

“It sends a strong signal of the importance of this fight that the US Congress continues to increase funding for global health at a time of economic crisis. It underscores the need to maintain the progress and continue to invest in people’s health globally,” he added.

The Global Fund works closely with US initiatives to combat HIV/AIDS and malaria throughout the world, including the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and the President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI).

The US is the Fund’s largest single donor, although European Union member States together contribute more than half of the Global Fund’s resources. The Global Fund has received contributions from a total of 50 donor countries to date, in addition to a number of private foundations, corporations and individuals.