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Global Fund seeks
other financial resources

Global Fund seeks
other financial resources

The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria, which relies primarily on government contributions, is in a precarious financial position and needs almost $1 billion to meet existing commitments, according to a report it released before a weekend meeting in Durban, South Africa, with major donors. "Getting money out of even the richest governments in the world is not an easy task," says Global Fund communication director Jon Liden.

The report says the Global Fund has clear evidence its programs are working, with more than half a million people now receiving anti-HIV drugs and 1.4 million being treated for TB thanks to its funding. Founded 4.5 years ago as the primary financing vehicle for global efforts to fight AIDS, TB, and malaria, the Global Fund has committed $5.4 billion in grants, mainly in sub-Saharan Africa.

Since it began, the Global Fund has had difficulty persuading rich nations to contribute, despite repeated calls from groups such as the Group of Eight developed countries. Liden says while the United States and the United Kingdom have fulfilled most of their commitments, other countries are lagging.

"The European Union as a whole could do more [and] the Middle East sits on a fair amount of money," Liden says. He adds that those governments, plus Japan and rapidly developing Asian countries, could be new sources for fund money.

Brian Brink, chief medical officer at South African mining company Anglo American, and an alternate board member of the fund, says major corporations should support the fund, which was originally envisioned as a public-private partnership. (Reuters)

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