Sweden Contributes Additional $2.2M to Global Fund in Response to Letter From Bono, Mandela
Sweden has announced it has contributed an additional $2.2 million to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria in response to an "urgent appeal" from Irish musician Bono and Nelson Mandela, according to a Global Fund release. The additional $2.2 million now brings Sweden's total contribution to the Global Fund through 2004 to $75.2 million (Global Fund release, 10/7). Last month, Mandela on behalf of the Nelson Mandela Foundation; 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 sent a letter to the heads of state of 10 countries asking each for a donation of $5.3 million to make up a Global Fund monetary shortfall. The letter was sent to the United Kingdom, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain and Sweden. The United Kingdom was the first country to respond to the letter, announcing Sept. 23 that it had forwarded to this year $5.3 million of its 2005 pledge to the Global Fund. Ambassador Randall Tobias, head of the State Department's Office of the Global AIDS Coordinator, in July announced that he would extend from July 31 to Sept. 30 the deadline for other countries and foundations to make additional contributions to the Global Fund in order to maximize the United States' donation to the fund (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 9/24). Carin Jamtin, Sweden's minister for international development cooperation, said that there are "still enormous needs when it comes to the prevention, care and treatment of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. Sweden attaches very high priority to this work," adding, "We also have great confidence in the Global Fund as an important financing mechanism. We are more than happy to be able to make this extra contribution." According to the release, the Global Fund thanked Sweden for its "important and continued commitment to winning the battle against these diseases" (Global Fund release, 10/7).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.