Feachem Says Global Fund Could Dry Up By the Middle of Next YearRichard Feachem, director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, said that the fund will run out of money by the middle of next year unless it receives new donations, the Boston Globe reports. The fund has received $2.1 billion in pledges but has collected only $500 million. Earlier this year, the fund's board approved $616 million in grants in the first round of applications and is set to review the second round of projects in January. However, no "substantial" pledges have been made to the fund for months, and donations from the private sector are particularly low, the Globe reports. Feachem said, "The danger is we would make round two awards at the end of January that we ultimately couldn't finance. Round three in June is when the crunch is really going to hit. ... We can't go on making commitments to fund projects without being dead sure we have the money." Feachem also announced that auditing firms KPMG, Crown Agents and PriceWaterhouseCoopers will monitor the fund's spending for programs in some developing countries (Donnelly, Boston Globe, 10/7).
The Global Fund was meant to be "an unprecedented partnership between rich nations and multinational companies to vanquish" AIDS, TB and malaria, but it has raised "only a sliver of the money it needs" and is "hobbled" by structural requirements, Toronto Globe and Mail foreign affairs writer Stephanie Nolen writes in an opinion piece. In addition to a lack of money, the fund faces trouble because it was created to be independent of other multilateral entities such as the United Nations, Nolen states, noting that although the fund cannot use existing multilateral organizations to help manage its spending and has had to create its own infrastructure, accounting and procurement operations, donors want the fund to be "light" and "poised to disburse funds fast." She notes that there are other conflicts regarding which countries should receive money from the fund and whether the governments that receive funding from the organization should meet certain criteria. Nolen concludes that if the fund in its current state is the "radical solution, things don't bode well for the problem" of how to fight HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria (Nolen, Toronto Globe and Mail, 10/5).