Global Fund Officials Launch ‘New Round’ of Fundraising Targeted at Main Donors Amid Financial Troubles
Officials at the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria have launched a "new round of arm-twisting" of its main donors -- the United States, Japan and European Union countries -- amid fears that the fund will "wither away" without new financing, the Financial Times reports. The need for increased contributions to the fund will be on the agenda of both the G7 finance ministers meeting in May and the G8 summit in June, before a scheduled meeting of the donor countries in July, according to Richard Feachem, executive director of the fund. The "most delicate task" will be negotiating with the Bush administration, whose recent increase in AIDS funding "appeared to undermine the fund by awarding it only one tenth of the new money," according to the Times. Some health officials argue that Bush's proposed unilateral approach will not work because the United States lacks the necessary infrastructure to run a large AIDS program, according to the Times. Bush responded to these fears on Friday saying that the United States is "still committed to the fund," which he said was demonstrated by the election of HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson as the new chair of the fund's board. Feachem said that he hopes to "demonstrate that the Global Fund is not plagued by the redundancy and politics of some U.N. initiatives" in order to establish credibility and prompt an increase in donations from the United States and other nations. "The international financial delinquency that has haunted the response to AIDS in Africa is hardly that of the U.S. alone. It extends, without exception, to all the wealthy nations," Stephen Lewis, U.N. special envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa, said (Dyer, Financial Times, 2/5).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.