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International News

Global AIDS Fund Awards $616 Million to Fight Scourges

April 26, 2002

The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria has awarded $616 million to programs in more than 40 countries to pay for the prevention and treatment of the three epidemics among the world's poor. The grants, awarded yesterday, are the first round of dispersals of the nearly year-old fund set up by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan. The second round is in November. The Geneva-based fund's largest commitment is from the United States, which pledged $500 million.

The grants finance programs for two years, with additional support contingent on the program's performance. Award recipients range from a South African AIDS program with a five-year budget of $93 million to a two-year project in Panama with a budget of $570,000.

The awards will consume a substantial amount of the $2 billion in the fund. Because the money will pay for many programs that will put AIDS patients on antiretroviral therapy, the grants may mark the start of a long-term financial commitment. "This is a tremendous breakthrough," said Jeffrey D. Sachs, an economist and the director of the Center for International Development at Harvard University. "This is the beginning of a dramatic scaling up. It is the first shot of the Mercury program on the way to the moon."

A commission headed by Sachs estimated last year that a comprehensive AIDS program -- encompassing prevention campaigns, treatment of AIDS complications and moderate use of antiretroviral triple therapy -- in the developing world would cost about $8 billion a year. About 45 percent of the money awarded yesterday will pay for drugs; the remainder will be used to train health care workers, support public education and buy items such as insecticide-impregnated mosquito nets, which reduce mortality when children and pregnant women in malarious areas sleep under them.

Of the 55 million deaths annually worldwide, slightly more than 10 percent are caused by one of the three diseases targeted by the fund. In Africa, the infections cause about one-third of deaths. And African programs will get slightly more than half of the money, with Southeast Asia, the Western Pacific and the Americas getting about 12 percent each. Smaller amounts are going to Mediterranean, Central Asia and Eastern European countries.

Back to other CDC news for April 26, 2002

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Adapted from:
Washington Post
04.26.02; David Brown

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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.
See Also
More on the Global AIDS Fund