Donors commit 11.7 billion dollars to global fund to fight killer diseases

14:59, October 06, 2010      

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Donor countries meeting at the UN Headquarters in New York on Tuesday have pledged 11.7 billion U.S. dollars over the next three years to a global fund which finances the fight against AIDS and other two killer diseases, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced here.

The financial commitment was made to the Gobal Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria for the year 2011-2013, Ban said at a press conference here.

The announced contributions are the largest ever financial pledge for the collective, international effort to fight the three pandemics. The new funding compares with 9.7 billion dollars committed to the Global Fund in Berlin, Germany, in September 2007 for the period 2008-2010.

"Today we raised more than 11.7 billion dollars for the Global Fund to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria," Ban said. "This is more than we did at the last replenishment conference, and it is enough to give millions of people living in fear a new lease on life."

"I am strongly encouraged by the leadership of the United States, France, Japan, Canada, Norway and Australia, all of which announced major increases. I am also pleased that the United States has made a multi-year commitment for the first time," he said. "I commend the important commitments from the European Commission, Germany, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Chevron, the Russian Federation and the People's Republic of China. "

These financial resources will allow the Global Fund to further support countries as they work to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) related to health.

On Tuesday morning, the secretary-general chaired the Global Fund's replenishment for 2011-2013. More than 40 countries, the European Commission, faith-based organizations, private foundations, and corporations committed funding at the pledging session in New York.

"AT a time when so many governments are tightening their belts at home, these commitments send a powerful message: It shows how seriously world leaders want to do the right thing beyond their borders, too," Ban said. "It shows they understand the importance of health for all people."

"However, the demand for funding is likely to outstrip even the impressive commitments made today," Ban said. "That means we must continue to mobilize more resources. We must seek innovative sources of financing."

"We need even more contributions by the private sector and we must bring new donors to the table," he said. "Our work is about more than replenishing a fund; it is about replenishing hope and dignity in people's lives."

The pledge came a week after the MDGs summit at the UN Headquarters, in which UN member states reaffirmed their commitment to ambitious targets to eradicates disease and poverty by 2015.

Resources promised here Tuesday will enable already approved programs to continue and significantly expand their current efforts. In addition, at least 2.9 billion U.S. dollars will be available for new commitments in the next three years. However, the total pledges fall short of the estimated resources needed to meet demand from developing countries seeking to further scale up their disease programs, the Global Fund said in a news release issued here.

"I deeply appreciate the efforts of all the public and private donors who with this replenishment have shown their continued confidence in the Global Fund," said Michel Kazatchkine, the executive director of the global Fund. "However, we need to recognize that this amount is not enough to meet expected demand. It will lead to difficult decisions in the next three years that could slow down the effort to beat the three diseases."

"I will continue a relentless effort to seek the additional resources the Global Fund needs to fully contribute towards achieving the MDGs," Kazatchikine said.

The Global Fund, founded in 2002, is a unique global public and private partnership dedicated to attracting and disbursing additional resources to prevent and treat HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. This partnership between governments, civil society, the private sector and affected communities represents a new approach to international health financing. The Global Fund works in close collaboration with other bilateral, multilateral organizations to supplement existing efforts dealing with the three killer diseases.

Source: Xinhua


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