Wealthy Nations Support Cash Boost for AIDS Fund
May 19, 2003
The world's seven wealthiest nations and Russia are expected to renew their support for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria at the G-8 meeting in June, a move fundraisers say will spur governments to plug a budget gap of $1.3 billion for vital new projects. Jon Liden, spokesperson for the Fund, said the G-8 -- comprising Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, United States and Russia -- have signaled they would renew their commitment in a declaration at a meeting June 1-3 in Evian, France. "This political commitment is the anchor and support we need," Liden said. "It's a cashflow problem -- if we frontload the fund now, we'll be all right for the next few years."Adapted from:
The Fund was set up in January 2002 to finance projects fighting the three diseases in many of the world's poorer nations, but within the first few months it was overwhelmed by applications. A recent U.S. General Accounting Office report concluded that although the Fund was an effective mechanism for fighting these diseases, vital projects could be jeopardized if more money is not raised soon.
U.S. officials said the Fund needs $1.6 billion to finance projects at the next round of proposals October 2003, but currently has less than $300 million. Moreover, without significant pledges the Fund will be unable to provide grants for projects that have already been approved beyond the initial two-year commitments, the report said. The Fund also faces challenges in effectively procuring much needed materials such as antiretroviral drugs, the report said, although this will be alleviated by a sharp cut in the price of Combivir.
The United States has made 25 percent of donations to date and is considered key to supporting the Fund's functions and spurring other nations to boost their contributions. The Fund's chairperson, U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson, meets representatives in Geneva Monday to discuss the shortfall.
05.16.03; Fiona Fleck
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.