NAIROBI, 13 November 2009 (PlusNews) - The Global Fund to Fight
AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria has approved US$2.4 billion in its
ninth round of grants, bringing the total amount of approved
funding since its inception in 2001 to $18.4 billion.
"These grants enable countries around the world to address some
of the main problems they are struggling with every day," Dr
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Ethiopian Health Minister and Chair
of the Global Fund Board, said in a press release.
The two-year commitment - the second largest ever - was approved
by the board of directors during a recent meeting in Addis Ababa,
when it also decided to launch the tenth round of grants in May
There had been fears that as a result of a funding shortfall, the
board would decide to cancel its 2010 call for funding proposals,
curtailing the fight against the AIDS pandemic.
Despite the decision to go ahead with a call for proposals in
2010, Michel Kazatchkine, executive director of the Global Fund,
noted that the demand for funding was 'enormous', and there was a
need for more investment to continue the worldwide momentum of
HIV prevention, treatment and care.
"We may not be able to continue approving such amounts of
financing and see continued progress in health in the coming
years unless donor countries scale up their funding even further
than what they have done so far," he said.
An estimated 2.3 million people around the world are on
life-prolonging antiretroviral drugs paid for by the Global Fund,
which has also provided anti-tuberculosis treatment to 5.4