Global Fund seeks fresh money to fight AIDS, TB, malaria
Oct 4, 2010, 20:09 GMT
New York - The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria on Monday opened a two-day session to seek tens of billions of dollars to finance activities for the 2011-2013 period.
The third voluntary replenishment and pledging conference since 2002 of the Global Fund - the world's largest multilateral financing organization for health - was seeking 13-20 billion dollars to fund programmes in 144 countries in the next three years.
It has channelled two-thirds of funding to combat malaria and tuberculosis and the rest for anti-AIDS programmes.
'The meeting (in New York) provides an opportunity for high-level representatives from donor governments and private sector organizations to reaffirm their commitment to the work of the Global Fund by announcing funding pledges for 2011 to 2013,' it said.
Achievements by the fund would help developing countries meet the Millennium Development Goals, which call for reversing the spread of HIV/AIDS by 2015.
UNAIDS said nearly 16 billion dollars were available in 2009 to combat the epidemic, even though it was short by 10 billion dollars of the estimated need.
UNAIDS said 5.2 million people are currently on HIV treatment, a 12-fold increase in six years to stop the spread of AIDS. It said there were 200,000 fewer AIDS-related deaths in 2008 than in 2004.
Herve Verhoosel, a spokesman for the Roll Back Malaria Partnership scheme, urged donors to invest in one of the most cost-effective health interventions - malaria control.
'Reducing malaria cases will free as much as 40 per cent of current public health expenditures and improve economic growth by up to 1.3 per cent per year in endemic areas,' Verhoosel said. 'Lower infection rates will diminish school absenteeism and improve children's learning capacity.
'Controlling malaria in Africa will clear the way to eradicating poverty, reducing child mortality, combating major disease and achieving universal primary education.'
The malaria partnership was set up by the UN Children's Fund, World Health Organization, the World Bank and UN Development Programme and now has 500 partner organizations to implement programmes on fighting malaria worldwide.
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