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International News

World-Wide Fund to Fight Disease Is Running Short

May 7, 2003

The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria is in danger of running out of money, the U.S. General Accounting Office said in a report to be released today. "Pledges made for this year are insufficient to cover more than a small number of additional grants," the GAO said. The fund will not be able to finance the completion of developing-world health projects it is now launching "without significant new pledges," the accounting office said. The fund has committed financing for 160 projects in 92 countries and estimates it will need $1.4 billion more this year.

The Bush administration pledged $1.65 billion of the $3.4 billion promised overall to the fund through 2008, and the House last week authorized as much as $1 billion a year more for the fund, assuming that other donors collectively match the U.S. money two-to-one. The funding must still be approved in the Senate, and congressional appropriators would have to vote to allocate any actual spending. One estimate circulating on Capitol Hill is that the fund will get $350 million from the United States for fiscal 2004, which begins Oct. 1.

U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Tommy Thompson, the Global Fund's chair and chief global fundraiser, plans to visit Brussels, Berlin, Stockholm and Geneva in coming weeks to discuss the fund's financing needs. And wealthy nations may use next month's Group of Eight summit in Evian, France, or July's donor meeting in Paris, as opportunities to boost their pledges.

Thompson may have a hard time convincing potential donor governments, some of whom feel they are more generous than Washington when it comes to overall foreign aid. While France is expected to increase its pledge, Germany, Japan and Britain appear to be balking at major boosts.

"We can't afford to squabble when there are 6 million people a year dying from the three diseases we're working on," said Robert Feachem, the fund's executive director.

Back to other CDC news for May 7, 2003

Previous Updates

Adapted from:
Wall Street Journal
05.07.03; Michael M. Phillips

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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