Global fund may not award new grants in 2005
The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria might not issues any grants in 2005 because of funding shortfalls, fund officials said this week. Richard Feachem, executive director of the global fund, says that in order for the organization to carry out its planned work in 2005 it needs $2.5 billion in donations, but has received donation pledges of only $1.6 billion. Another $200 million in available funds may carry over from 2004 to 2005, giving the organization a total of about $1.8 billion next year, but financial commitments for existing programs in 2005 already top $1.3 billion, leaving just $500 million available for new grants. Feachem says its possible the fund's board will hold off on approving any new projects in 2005 when it meets in Tanzania next month. "Zero [grants] in 2005 would be a catastrophe," Feachem says. "It would be a major loss of momentum for the world's new financing mechanism against AIDS, TB and malaria and a betrayal of the vision and the trust and the hope that is placed in the global fund."