UNbacked fund to fight AIDS TB malaria approves nearly 850 million in

The United Nations-backed Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria today approved its sixth round of grants since it was established in 2002, committing $847 million to 85 projects in 63 countries, bringing its total commitments to $6.6 billion.Overall the Fund, set up on Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s initiative, has made more than 460 grants in 136 countries.“Millions of people around the world have been reached with life-saving services through Global Fund financing,” Global Fund Executive Director Richard Feachem said in Guatemala City, where the Fund’s Board met.“These additional commitments will build on that progress and enable us to reach many more of those still in need. We are grateful to the Global Fund’s many generous donors who made the approval of these new grants possible,” he added of the new grants, nearly half of which goes to Africa. Over a five year period, the grants will support provision of life-extending antiretroviral (ARV) treatment to 200,000 people with AIDS, the effective treatment of nearly 400,000 people infected with TB, and the distribution of 11.5 million insecticide-treated bed nets to prevent malaria, among many other important interventions.In addition, significant new investments will be made in the treatment of the growing epidemic of drug-resistant tuberculosis (TB), with roughly 8,500 patients expected to be treated over five years, a major increase over current global treatment levels.“This is a great development for the Global Fund and the world’s fight against AIDS, TB and malaria. These grants will provide vital additional assistance to countries and communities around the world,” the Chair of the Global Fund’s Board, Carol Jacobs, said. After Africa, the remaining amount is to be distributed among other regions experiencing large or rapidly growing burdens of the diseases, including Asia, Eastern Europe, and Latin America and the Caribbean.Just over half of the grants will go to fight HIV/AIDS, while the other half is evenly divided between TB and malaria. To date, Global Fund-financed programmes have provided ARV treatment to over 600,000 people with AIDS, treated 1.4 million people with TB, and distributed 11.3 million insecticide-treated bed nets to prevent malaria.The Fund provides a quarter of international financing against AIDS worldwide, more than half of all international malaria financing and more than two thirds of international financing for TB programs. Together, the three diseases kill more than 6 million people each year.

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