Gates Foundation Announces Five-Year $500 Million Donation to Global Fund
August 10, 2006
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation on Wednesday announced a $500 million donation to the Global Fund To Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria over the next five years, the Washington Post reports. The donation is the largest the Global Fund has received from a nongovernmental organization (Brown, Washington Post, 8/10). Previously the Gates Foundation has donated $150 million to the Global Fund, which receives most of its funding from governments (AP/Boston Globe, 8/10). "The Global Fund is one of the most important health initiatives in the world today," Bill Gates, co-chair of the Gates Foundation, said, adding, "The Global Fund has an excellent track record, and we need to do everything we can to support its continued success, which will save millions of lives" (Heim, Seattle Times, 8/9). The money will be disbursed in $100 million installments through 2010 beginning this year (CQ HealthBeat, 8/10). "This very sizable and greatly appreciated additional commitment will help save millions of lives around the world. It is a very strong vote of confidence in the Global Fund," Global Fund Executive Director Richard Feachem said. According to Feachem, $200 million of the funding will help underwrite the fund's sixth round of grants scheduled to be awarded in November. He added that the fund still needs $500 million to finance that round (Washington Post, 8/10). "[The Global Fund] is a funding model that works, and the need is great. We hope all donors -- public and private, large and small -- will step up their support and make long-term commitments," Melinda Gates, co-chair of the Gates Foundation, said (Global Fund release, 8/9). The donation means that the U.S., which currently is the largest donor to the Global Fund, "theoretically" can now give more money to the Global Fund, according to the Post. Under a law passed by Congress a few years ago, the U.S. government cannot contribute more than 33% of the Global Fund's total budget. With the Gates foundation contribution, the U.S. share through 2008 would be 27%, according to a fund spokesperson (Washington Post, 8/10). According to Feachem, the Gates Foundation grant is the second five-year grant the Global Fund has received (AFP/Yahoo! News, 8/9).
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