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Global Aids Fund faced with Critical Shortage

February 20th, 2009

The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis (TB) and Malaria, a public-private partnership set up in 2001, is running out of funds. This shortage will negatively affect the upcoming round of grants. The Global Fund to fight AIDS, TB and Malaria is the largest multilateral response to the three diseases. The Global Fund receives money from government, businesses and individuals to support large-scale prevention, treatment and care programs targeted at the three diseases. Since it was started, the fund has committed $14.9 billion in 140 countries with the largest percentage of money going to Sub Saharan Africa, hard-hit by HIV-AIDS.

Today, advocates are deeply concerned about  the Global Fund to fight AIDS, TB and Malaria. The board chairperson of the Global fund, Mr. Rajat Gupta issued a statement on January 29 during the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland saying that pledges from donor nations are running $5 billion short of what is needed through 2010. This shortage has prompted the global fund to recommend 10% budget reductions, which eventually will affect performance targets for people who have been receiving treatment and preventative care since 2001, as well as for orphans. The global fund board is projecting that to scale up access to universal treatment by 2010, the total amount needed is $8 billion. The current pledge from donors is now only $3 billion, leaving a $5 billion gap.

The United States is the single biggest donor to the global fund, with donations around 33 percent committed every year. In 2008, the United States Congress allocated $841 million dollars to the Global fund – the largest donation ever. This fund has had tremendous success in providing access to AIDS treatment and prevention to millions in Africa, Latin American, Asia and Eastern Europe. It is critical that the United States continue to show leadership on global AIDS especially in the midst of this economic meltdown. In FY 2009, the U.S. global fund contribution is $500 million, a cut of nearly $350 million from the 2008 request. There is no request yet for the Global Fund for FY 2010.

The United States can help fix this global AIDS funds emergency through the emergency supplemental spending measures for FY 2009 with a commitment of $1 billion now. This would resolve former President George Bush’s underfunding of the global fund. Secondly, the U.S. must fulfill its fair share contribution which is 1/3 of the global fund ($8 billion) hence a new contribution for FY2010 must be $2.75 billion.

The Oblate JPIC office recently joined other faith and human rights groups in signing a letter to the finance ministers of the G7 government calling on them to keep promises to the Global Fund that will continue to save millions of human lives around the globe.

For more information, send email to gngolwe@omiusa.org

 

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