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$2.9 Billion To Fight Aids, Tb And Malaria


UN Hails Global Fund Approval Of $2.9 Billion To Fight Aids, Tb And Malaria

The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria today approved new grants totalling $2.9 billion, drawing immediate praise from the United Nations.

"We believe that the grants that were approved today will be a significant step forward to helping millions of people around the world to cope with the world's worst epidemics," said UN spokesman Farhan Haq.

He noted that the new funds would help push forward the fight against AIDS, TB and malaria by putting 932,000 people on antiretroviral treatment for HIV/AIDS, and financing 123 million ACT anti-malarial treatments, 44 million impregnated bed nets and DOTS treatment for 640,000 new tuberculosis patients.

This is the fourth round of grant approvals since the Global Fund was established in 2002 at the initiative of UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan. In total, $3 billion has been disbursed for 310 grants in 129 countries.

More than 85 per cent of the grants announced today will go to low-income countries, the Global Fund said. Just under half will be for HIV/AIDS, while 40 per cent will be spent on malaria.

The Fund's Executive Director, Richard Feachem, said the grants, while only a start, would have a measurable impact. "We expect to see a noticeable reduction in mortality in a few years, in particular from malaria," he said.

The Global Fund is a public-private partnership involving governments, civil society, the private sector and affected communities. It works in close collaboration with other bilateral and multilateral organizations to supplement existing efforts dealing with the three diseases.

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