United Kingdom Forwards $5.3M to Global Fund To Address Funding Shortfall
The United Kingdom announced on Thursday that it has "brought forward" to this year $5.3 million of its 2005 pledge to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria to help ensure that the United States can supply the maximum pledge amount authorized by Congress, according to a Global Fund release (Global Fund release, 9/23). Congress authorized $547 million for the fund for fiscal year 2004. However, the bill (HR 1298) authorizing the pledge stipulates that the total U.S. contribution to the fund cannot exceed 33% of total contributions to the fund. Under the requirement, other donors would have to contribute a total of $1.11 billion to the Global Fund for the United States to provide the total $547 million that Congress authorized. Because the fund was $243 million short of the $1.11 billion by the July 31 deadline, the United States only would have been able to contribute $427 million and would have rolled the remaining $120 million back into the budget for the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief. However, Ambassador Randall Tobias, head of the State Department's Office of the Global AIDS Coordinator, last month announced that he intends to hold the $120 million until Sept. 30 -- the end of the federal fiscal year -- to give other countries and foundations more time to make the additional contributions to the Global Fund (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 8/19).
Donation Details, Letter
Prior to the new contribution from the United Kingdom, the Global Fund said it was approximately $53 million short of the $243 million needed to make the Sept. 30 deadline, assuming all outstanding pledges from non-U.S. donors were paid in full. A letter signed by Nelson Mandela on behalf of the Nelson Mandela Foundation, Irish musician Bono on behalf of the debt, trade and AIDS advocacy group DATA and Jack Valenti on behalf of the Global Fund advocacy group Friends of the Global Fight was sent to the heads of state of 10 countries asking each for a donation of $5.3 million to make up the shortfall. The letter was sent to Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain and Sweden. The $5.3 million from the United Kingdom -- which was the first to respond to the letter -- leaves the balance at $47.7 million short of what is needed to assure the full U.S. contribution. British Prime Minster Tony Blair in July made a pledge that the United Kingdom will contribute about $276 million to the fund over the next three years, effectively doubling the U.K. contribution for 2005-2007 (Global Fund release, 9/23).