Donors assess Global Fund needs ahead of pledging session at UN

14:01, March 25, 2010      

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Donors to the Global Fund to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria gathered in the Netherlands on Wednesday for a two-day meeting to assess funding needs for the 2011-2013 period, ahead of a pledging conference at United Nations Headquarters in New York in October.

"Since its creation of eight years ago, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria has been extraordinarily effective," said UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in a video message to the donors gathered in The Hague.

"It has saved an estimated five million lives, and established itself as a world leader in strengthening health systems," Ban said, noting, however, that the three diseases were still responsible for more than half of the deaths of women of child- bearing age in sub-Saharan Africa.

The secretary-general will chair the two-day pledging conference that starts in New York on Oct. 4, UN officials said here Wednesday.

Global Fund Executive Director Michel Kazatchkine told delegates that the fund's success had made it possible to contemplate a world without malaria-related deaths and a world without babies born with AIDS by 2015.

"The financing allocated in 2010 will determine whether we can finally reach that promise. We must not let that hope turn into despair," he added.

The preparatory meeting in The Hague is being attended by delegates from 27 countries, the UN Foundation, private sector representatives, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and UNITAID, an international health financing agency.

Source: Xinhua
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