Friday, November 13, 2009

Global Fund approves US$2.4 billion in new grants

The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria’s Board of Directors has approved new grants with a two-year commitment of US$2.4 billion. The Global Fund Board concluded its 20th meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on 11 November. High on the agenda were discussions on the implications of the global financial crisis for a fully funded AIDS response.

The Global Fund Board also announced the launch its next round of grants in May 2010. This round of funding will be considered for approval at a Board meeting to be held some time between November 2010 and January 2011.

“We are seeing a tremendous demand for funding,” said Michel Kazatchkine, the Executive Director of the Global Fund. “Countries are showing that they are able to effectively turn large amounts of money from donors into prevention, care and treatment of AIDS, TB and malaria, which in turn will save millions of lives.”

Addressing the Global Fund Board earlier in the week UNAIDS Executive Director, Mr Michel Sidibé congratulated Dr Kazatchkine on the excellent progress made over the last year.

Mr Sidibé expressed concern that because overall resource demand is higher than anticipated in the funding scenario of the replenishment meeting in Berlin in 2007, the Global Fund risks facing a resource gap for the period 2009-2010. He reiterated his call to donor countries to ensure that the Global Fund is fully funded. He also called for appropriate prevention investments that match the nature of the epidemic, for example in Eastern Europe where HIV is mainly transmitted via injecting drug use.

Speaking on the potential impact of the financial crisis on the AIDS response, Mr Sidibé called for innovative approaches and the need to establish new partnerships in the AIDS response.

With its key approaches – country ownership, inclusiveness, accountability and performance-based funding – the Global Fund is setting the standard in development financing and is strongly aligned with aid effectiveness principles. Praising this approach, Mr Sidibé encouraged even greater engagement with implementing countries and communities in decision-making processes.

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