European Commission Releases $50M Pledge to Global Fund To Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria
The European Commission on Monday announced it has contributed $50 million to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, according to a Global Fund release. The contribution completes payment for the European Commission's $254 million pledge to the Global Fund for 2004. The commission's total pledge to the fund since its inception in 2001 is $553 million, with $52 million pledged for both 2005 and 2006, according to the release. Europe -- comprising the European Commission, its individual member nations and non-E.C. European countries -- to date has pledged 53.6% of the Global Fund's total resources and has contributed 56.3% of pledges actually received, according to the release. The Global Fund's board is scheduled to meet in June to determine the total amount of funding still needed in 2004. Due to an increase in the number of and requested funding for grant applications received in April, the amount of money the fund needs for 2004 could exceed the current $1.6 billion estimate, according to the release. To date, the fund has received more than $500 million of the total $1.5 billion that was pledged by all countries for 2004, according to the release. The Global Fund estimates that it will need $3.5 billion in 2005, of which $816 million has been pledged so far. Global Fund Executive Director Richard Feachem said, "The European Commission has been a staunch supporter of the Global Fund from the beginning," adding, "We greatly welcome this release of funds, which enables us to maximize support from other countries." The Global Fund has contributed $2.1 billion to 225 programs in 121 countries, according to the release (Global Fund release, 5/17).
Washington Times Interviews Feachem
The Washington Times on Monday featured an interview with Feachem, who says there is a "mood of optimism" in the world about fighting HIV/AIDS because "three preconditions for a successful counterattack are now in place: ... leadership, affordable and practical technologies and large amounts of additional finance" (Zarocostas, Washington Times, 5/17). The complete interview is available online.