Global AIDS fund seeks to raise profile
A rock concert featuring U2 singer Bono is being planned as part of a campaign to raise the profile of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria, executives from the fund said Monday. Since May, fund officials have been working with the Publicis Group, a huge advertising conglomerate, to develop a public image so the fund can tap individuals and corporations for donations. Governments are now its primary funders.
The fund has only $800 million for 2004 and says it needs $3 billion. It is counting on the United States for $1 billion of the total. However, under a new U.S. law, the nation says it cannot contribute more than one third of the fund's assets, and President Bush has asked for only $200 million for the fund. The United States could increase its allocation, but for that to happen, the fund needs to raise $2 billion. The plan to raise money includes asking consumers making credit card purchases to round up the amount, with the difference going to the fund. For this to work, the fund needs to reach agreements with banks, retailers, restaurants, and hotels. The fund is also counting on companies to donate money or advertising space.