$4 billion to fight AIDS, TB and malaria
Donors pledge nearly $4 billion to Annan-initiated fund to fight AIDS, TB and malaria
The United Nations-backed Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria today received pledges of nearly $4 billion for 2006 and 2007, and another conference will be held next June in the hope of reaching the $7 billion target for the two-year period.
“The pledges made here today will go a long way towards ensuring the longer-term sustainability of the Global Fund,” Secretary-General Kofi Annan, who initiated the Fund, said in London, after chairing the latest replenishment conference of the public-private organization founded three years ago.
“They will help countries establish comprehensive programs to fight AIDS, TB and malaria and they will provide us all with an important source of hope and encouragement for the future; hope that we can make major progress in reversing the spread of AIDS and other infectious diseases,” he said.
The $3.7 billion pledged by 29 donors form a strong base for continued funding of all the Global Fund’s ongoing programmes and will allow for the establishment of new programmes to fight the three diseases, Global Fund chair Carol Jacobs said.
“It begins to close the gap in meeting our financial needs and provides great encouragement for future fund-raising efforts,” she said.
The Fund said it has committed $3 billion to programmes in 128 countries so far to support aggressive interventions against the three diseases, which kill over 6 million people each year.
Mr. Annan held bilateral meetings with senior officials attending the pledging conference, including those dealing with AIDS for the United States, the United Kingdom and the European Commission.
He also had a working luncheon yesterday with British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, with whom he discussed UN reform and next week's World Summit at the UN in New York of more than 170 heads of State and government. Other topics at that meeting included developments in Iran, Iraq, Lebanon and Zimbabwe.