British Prime Minister Blair, French President Chirac Call on E.U. Partners To Contribute $1B To Global Fund
British Prime Minister Tony Blair and French President Jacques Chirac on Monday called on European Union member nations to contribute $1 billion a year to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, Agence France-Presse reports. The leaders signed a joint letter to Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis, whose country currently holds the E.U. presidency, urging that the issue be addressed at the E.U. summit that begins today near Salonika, Greece. Earlier this month, Chirac announced that France would triple its contribution to the Global Fund in an effort to encourage the European Union to match the United States' pledge of up to $1 billion a year for five years (Agence France-Presse, 6/16). The global AIDS bill (HR 1298), which President Bush signed into law last month, authorizes $3 billion a year for five years to international HIV/AIDS programs, with up to $1 billion in FY 2004 going to the Global Fund. However, the amount of funding actually appropriated may be less than $1 billion and is contingent upon the contributions of other countries. Under the measure, the United States can contribute up to $1 billion to the fund only if that amount totals no more than one-third of the fund's total contributions. Therefore, in order for the total $1 billion to be appropriated, other nations must contribute more money (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 6/4). The next Global Fund supporters' conference is scheduled to be held in Paris on July 16 (Agence France-Presse, 6/16).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.