Global AIDS and Health Fund ‘Stakeholders’ Meeting Recommends Fund be Operational by End of 2001
A "stakeholders" meeting of over 200 representatives from more than 50 countries, nongovernmental organizations and private foundations with an interest in the proposed Global AIDS and Health Fund recommended that "steps be taken" to ensure that the fund is operational by the end of the year, according to a United Nations release. Delegates to the meeting, held Sunday and Monday in Geneva, "agreed" that the "focus" of the fund should be on HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis. They also agreed that initiatives should "buil[d] on existing plans and programs when these are working well" and that funds should be allocated "in response to clear proposals" and with a "clear appreciation of ways in which they add to existing activities." The group stressed the need for an "integrated approach" to the three diseases, with an emphasis on prevention as well as treatment, and the need for "transparency in the way the funds are allocated and spent." Dr. Peter Piot, executive director of UNAIDS, said in the meeting's opening address that an "effective response" to AIDS in developing nations will require $7 billion to $10 billion annually. Filling the "resource gap" for malaria and TB will require an additional $2 billion a year. WHO Secretary-General Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland "stressed the importance of mobilizing" resources for the proposed fund and called on private sector groups and foundations to contribute. She also said that as soon as funds are made available they should be "disbursed quickly and efficiently" ( United Nations release, 6/4).This is part of the Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.