Netherlands Forwards $6M to Global Fund in Response to Appeal From Bono, Mandela
Dutch Minister for Development Cooperation Agnes van Ardenne on Thursday announced that the Netherlands has forwarded to this year's pledge to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria approximately $6 million from it 2005 pledge in response to last month's appeal from Irish musician Bono and former South African President Nelson Mandela, according to a Global Fund release. To date, the Netherlands has pledged $161 million to the Global Fund through 2005 (Global Fund release, 10/14). Mandela on behalf of the Nelson Mandela Foundation; Bono on behalf of the debt, trade and AIDS advocacy group DATA; and Motion Picture Association of America President 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. Sweden last week announced that it had contributed an additional $2.2 million to the Global Fund, bringing its total contribution to the Global Fund through 2004 to $75.2 million. 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, 10/7). "I hope this advance disbursement, together with additional payments from other donors, will help address the needs the Global Fund faces in 2004 and 2005," Karel van Kesteren, director of the Dutch government's U.N. and International Financial Institutions Department, said, adding, "This advance payment shows our commitment to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. Be assured that the Netherlands will continue to support programs that have shown themselves successful in this area." The Netherlands currently holds the rotating presidency of the European Union and aims to make HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment one the E.U.'s "most important" issues, according to the Global Fund (Global Fund release, 10/14).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.