31 January 2003
Geneva, Switzerland - The fourth Board Meeting of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, concluded in Geneva on 31 January 2003, approved US$ 130 million to fight HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis in India. The grant assigns US$ 100 million for HIV/AIDS, and US$ 30 million for Tuberculosis, and commits up to US$ 38.8 million over the first two years. This is the largest single country grant within Asia, in this Second Round of Global Fund Awards.
Richard Feachem, Executive Director of the Global Fund said, "Critical to any global effort to fight AIDS is preventing the Indian epidemic from exploding, which will otherwise occur over the course of this decade." Feachem will visit several states in India in March to support India's efforts to mobilize a broad, public-private response to AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.
The Global Fund also signed an agreement to fund a previously approved (April, 2002) tuberculosis program proposal in India, for US$ 5.7 million over the first two years of a three-year project (for US$ 8.6 million). This program expands the ongoing Revised National Tuberculosis Control Program (RNTCP) to cover 56 million people in all 47 districts of the three newly-created States of Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Uttaranchal, and also provides some funding to a non-government organization (NGO) in Chennai, Tamil Nadu.
Meenakshi Datta Ghosh, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, said, "The grant for HIV/AIDS will rapidly expand and enhance the quality of interventions for prevention of mother to child transmission, implement a comprehensive care package for HIV-infected mothers, their infants and partners and increase access to anti-retroviral treatment through public-private partnerships. The grants for tuberculosis will enable rapid scaling up and expanded coverage of the DOTS initiative in geographical territories and population segments within India, not covered so far."
Purnima Mane, Chief Portfolio Director for the Global Fund, said, "Since India has the largest numbers of people living with HIV/AIDS outside of South Africa, and also the highest burden of tuberculosis worldwide, these awards will significantly impact universal coverage globally."