U.S. Likely To Feel Pressure To Donate More to Global Fund at Replenishment Conference in London
The Global Fund To Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria replenishment conference, which opened on Monday in London, likely will put pressure on the U.S. to increase its contribution to the fund, the Financial Times reports. During the conference, the Global Fund will seek to resolve a $7.1 billion shortfall for 2006 and 2007. Last year, the U.S. contribution to the fund put pressure on other donors to pledge more. However, if European countries and Japan make large pledges this week as fund officials expect, "the onus will swing back to the U.S.," according to the Times. The bill (HR 1298) authorizing the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief -- which includes funding for the Global Fund -- stipulates that the total U.S. contribution to the fund cannot exceed 33% of its total contributions. The House and Senate have proposed fiscal year 2006 Global Fund pledges of $400 million and $600 million, respectively. Although both amounts are higher than the $300 million requested by President Bush in his FY 2006 budget proposal, the final amount likely will fall short of the one-third limit, according to the Times (Beattie, Financial Times, 9/5). The United Kingdom has pledged to double its contribution to the Global Fund to $369 million over the next two years (Daily Mail, 9/4). So far, only $1.7 billion of the fund's $7.1 billion shortfall has been pledged, the Times reports. The U.K. Department for International Development Secretary Hilary Benn said the remainder of the money likely will not be pledged during the conference, which is the third and final such meeting in 2005 (Financial Times, 9/5).
U.K. Lacks Transparency in AIDS Spending, Report Says
The British government lacks transparency and clarity in its spending to fight HIV/AIDS worldwide, according to a report published last week by the U.K.-based organization ActionAid International, BBC News reports. The report says that DFID has no central, accurate record of expenditure and could not show how much was being spent on prevention, treatment and care. However, a DFID spokesperson said the country has one of the best records on HIV/AIDS funding and is the second-largest government donor to HIV/AIDS programs operating in developing countries (BBC News, 9/3).