Global Fund Needs $9B To Meet Current, Future Commitments, Executive Director Says
The Global Fund To Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria needs an additional $9 billion between 2005 and 2007 to meet its current and future grant commitments, but it is unclear if Group of Eight industrialized nations will provide the needed funding, Global Fund Executive Director Richard Feachem said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal. "I'm not confident they'll come through. But the money is there. It's a political decision," he said. Securing the needed money will determine if the fund becomes a "vital entity" in the global fight against HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria or a "modest outfit" that works in the "shadow" of larger initiatives, such as the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, the Journal reports. Although the United States is the fund's largest donor, it also directs a large amount of funding to PEPFAR that could have been directed to the fund, according to the Journal. A recent analysis of 51 grants that each have been in place for approximately 18 months found that the funded projects have exceeded their targets in providing antiretroviral drugs, malaria treatments, and care for children who have lost one or both parents to HIV/AIDS. Programs that did not meet targets included those providing insecticide-treated nets to curb the spread of malaria. However, the projects' high performance levels might not be sustained because of the potential funding shortfall, Feachem said. He added that he plans to visit the capitals of G8 countries in the weeks before the G8 summit in July to advocate for increased pledges from leaders. Feachem is expected to ask the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy and Japan -- each of which have pledged about $100 million annually but have not fully provided their contributions -- to double their funding for 2005 and triple the amount in 2006. "There's no point in having a small Global Fund," Feachem said, adding, "Close it down" or increase financial support (Naik, Wall Street Journal, 6/9).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.