Global Fund Needs $1B To Meet Commitments, Calls for More Funding From E.U., Asian, Middle Eastern Countries
The Global Fund To Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria on Thursday announced that it needs almost $1 billion to meet existing commitments, and wealthy nations in Asia, Europe and the Middle East should boost their contribution levels, Reuters reports. Jon Liden, the Global Fund's communication director, said Britain and the U.S. have fulfilled most of their funding pledges, but other countries have been slow to provide funding. "The European Union as a whole could do more, ... (and) the Middle East sits on a fair amount of money," Liden said. He added that Asian and Middle Eastern governments could become new sources of funding for the organization. Brian Brink, chief medical officer at South African mining company Anglo American, said large corporations should make more donations to the Global Fund (Quinn, Reuters, 6/29). The Global Fund on Thursday released its latest progress report, which said that at the end of April, 544,000 people had started antiretroviral therapy through Global Fund programs, up from 384,000 six months earlier and representing a four-fold increase from December 2004 (Global Fund release, 6/29). The Global Fund in 2005 was responsible for 20% of international funding to fight HIV/AIDS and for two-thirds of funding for tuberculosis and malaria control programs. The Global Fund has approved 386 programs in 131 countries to fight HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria, according to South Africa's Mail & Guardian (Chibba/Eetgerink, Mail & Guardian, 6/29). Early indications show that more funding could significantly cut the prevalence of the three diseases, according to the report (Global Fund release, 6/29). The Global Fund will hold its second annual partnership forum from July 1 to July 3 in Durban, South Africa. According to Liden, the forum's aim is to "inspire donors and to lay a foundation of trust." He added, "But we have the hope and belief that some new pledges will be seen anyway" (Mail & Guardian, 6/29).This is part of the Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.