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National News

U.S. Official in Line to Lead Global Fund

January 31, 2003

Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy G. Thompson is in line to become the next board chair of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria -- a move that could presage much larger US contributions to the fund. Thompson emerged Thursday as the only candidate for the position. His appointment will be formalized Friday by consensus of the fund's 18-member board, which is meeting in Geneva.

President Bush's surprise proposal, announced during his State of the Union speech, for a sharp boost in US funding for international AIDS efforts included $1 billion for the Global Fund and $9 billion for prevention and treatment in Africa and the Caribbean over the next five years. This is to supplement $5 billion already planned for international AIDS programs.

"There's no automatic connection with a greater US financial contribution," fund Executive Director Richard G.A. Feachem said of Thompson's appointment. "But anything that strengthens the relationship with Washington and builds confidence with the Global Fund in the administration can only help in gaining the substantial resources we need." The fund now has pledges of $2.2 billion, with $500 million from the United States.

Yesterday, the board approved the second round of grants since the fund's inception about a year ago. In all, 160 programs in 85 countries are being financed at a cost of $1.5 billion for two years, renewable for a total of five years, and $3.7 billion depending on performance. About 60 percent of the money will go for AIDS, and 20 percent each to malaria and TB.

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As chair, Thompson will be expected to advocate for much greater commitment to AIDS prevention and treatment in poor countries and to raise money for the Global Fund specifically. The appointment lasts one year; a second year is possible. Nine board members are from donor nations; nine are from recipient nations. The chair and vice chair positions alternate between the two groups. Chrispus Kiyonga, a government minister from Uganda, is outgoing chair. Suwit Wibulpolprasert, a public health official from Thailand, is the only candidate for vice chair.

Back to other CDC news for January 31, 2003

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Adapted from:
Washington Post
01.31.03; 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.
 

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