Global Fund Delays Acceptance of Applications for New Grants by Six Months
Officials from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria on Friday announced a six-month delay on the acceptance of grant applications because of an "unexpectedly small" amount of financial contributions from international donors, the New York Times reports. Global Fund officials were expected to solicit new proposals in June but will not do so until November, according to the Times. The fund has received $900 million of its $3.5 billion goal for projects in 2005, Global Fund Executive Director Richard Feachem said, the Times reports. International AIDS contributions overall have increased over the last two years, and UNAIDS estimates that total contributions will increase from $4.7 billion in 2003 to $10 billion annually by 2007. However, United Nations officials estimate that programs will require $12 billion a year by 2005 and $20 billion a year by 2007. U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan on Tuesday called on the United States to allocate $1 billion for fiscal year 2005 to the Global Fund (LaFraniere, New York Times, 7/17). However, Randall Tobias, head of the State Department Office of the Global AIDS Coordinator, on Wednesday rejected the request saying, "The president has requested $200 million for next year and I think that is more than adequate to meet the requirements of the Global Fund in terms of getting money out for putting programs in place" (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 7/15). Tobias said the fund must look to other donors to meet its goals.
Global Fund Vice Chair Helene Rossert-Blavier said that some donors "have forgotten their commitment a little. So we're running out of money." Tobias said, "[Global Fund officials] have done a wonderful job in bringing attention to the issue and of raising money, but they clearly need to do a better job with countries other than the United States." Stephen Lewis, U.N. special envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa, said the Bush administration does not recognize the importance of the Global Fund in uniting donors and making more efficient the response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic (New York Times, 7/17).