First Corporate Pledge Made to Global AIDS Fund
June 8, 2001
With a $1 million contribution to be announced today, Winterthur, the Swiss-based insurance subsidiary of the Credit Suisse financial services group, will become the first corporate contributor to the new global HIV/AIDS fund. The company hopes the contribution will be "the icebreaker" that encourages other private sector donations, according to a company source. UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan proposed the fund in April, calling on developed countries, private foundations and corporations to give $7 billion to $10 billion annually to fight AIDS, malaria and TB in the developing world. His spokesperson called Winterthur's donation "a very positive thing that should get the ball rolling."Adapted from:
Current spending on the three diseases is about $1.8 billion, according to Peter Piot, executive director of UNAIDS. The bulk of any new money will be spent on the AIDS epidemic in sub-Saharan Africa, home to 70 percent of the estimated 36-million HIV-infected persons worldwide. Contributions to the fund have been slow to materialize, however. The announced U.S. donation of $200 million was criticized by AIDS activists as far too small. France has pledged about $127 million over the next three years, and Britain has promised an unspecified amount. No major foundation has offered money. There has been no U.S. corporate response to Annan's personal appeal to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce last week. But UN officials insist they are not discouraged and that they still anticipate the money will be committed by mid-summer, following the UN General Assembly's special session on HIV/AIDS and the Group of Eight industrialized countries meeting in July. "I'm pretty sure that it's going to happen, and it's going to be a serious thing," World Health Organization Executive Director David Nabarro said yesterday.
06.08.01; Karen DeYoung
This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.