Global Fund Predicts $900M Will Be Available for Fourth Round Grants
The Global Fund To Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria has announced that it believes it will be able to approve at least $900 million in its fourth round of grants in June after receiving confirmation of a U.S. pledge to the fund of $547 million for 2004, according to a Global Fund release. The confirmation of the U.S. funds "substantially" increased the Global Fund's resources for the year, according to the release. In advance of the grant disbursements, the Global Fund will work to scale up its own funding and coordinate its efforts with President Bush's global AIDS initiative, which was detailed last month in a report (Global Fund release, 2/26). Bush in May 2003 signed into law a bill (HR 1298) authorizing the initiative, which seeks to prevent seven million new HIV infections, provide care for 10 million people living with the disease and provide treatment to two million HIV-positive people living in 14 African and Caribbean countries. The 99-page President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief details how $9 billion in new funding will be spent over the next five years on AIDS programs in Africa and the Caribbean. The United States also plans to grant $5 billion to countries through existing agreements and $1 billion to the Global Fund (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 2/27).
Assuring U.S. Contribution
In order to guarantee the full amount from the United States, the Global Fund must raise an additional $120 million this year from other sources so that the total U.S. contribution does not exceed 33% of the fund's total paid-in funding for 2004, according to the release. The Global Fund is in a "close dialogue" with Ambassador Randall Tobias, who oversees the U.S. global AIDS initiative, and HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson, chair of the Global Fund's board. "We believe that more money is the only way we can beat back the unfolding catastrophe of AIDS," Global Fund Executive Director Richard Feachem said, adding, "We warmly welcome the new infusion of resources through the U.S. initiative and will make sure we maximize impact by preventing overlapping efforts and conflicting priorities." Global Fund grants are performance-based and are disbursed based on "proven results," according to the release. So far, the Global Fund has committed $2.1 billion to 121 countries, including $739 million to the countries covered by the U.S. initiative (Global Fund release, 2/26).