06 June 2003
Geneva, Switzerland – The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria today signed grant agreements worth up to US$ 57 million for Romania, Bulgaria and Cuba. Grant signing ceremonies took place during the fifth meeting of the Global Fund’s Board in Geneva. An additional agreement, worth US$ 3 million, was concluded with East Timor yesterday in Dili.
Grants signed with Romania cover both TB and HIV/AIDS. A US$ 16.9 million grant for TB will increase access to DOTS – the internationally approved treatment strategy for TB – to 100 per cent coverage of the country in two years. Grants will also provide DOTS training to more than 10,000 health professionals throughout the country, increase access to treatment for multi-drug resistant TB, and build a stronger network of civil society, health care and government partners for TB control
Forty per cent of the Romanian grant for HIV/AIDS, worth up to US$ 21.8 million, will go to non-governmental implementing partners. Funding will enable the scale-up of prevention efforts in priority areas. It will also strengthen treatment, care and support for people living with HIV/AIDS, particularly for vulnerable groups such as members of the Roma minority, TB patients and prisoners.
Romania is the first country to give a tax exemption for all goods and services purchased with Global Fund grant funding. The savings will result in an additional US$ 3 million going to their TB and HIV/AIDS control programs.
The HIV/AIDS grant for US$ 6.9 million signed with Bulgaria will cover all remaining program funding gaps in a country with spiralling HIV prevalence. With strong non-governmental involvement, funding will cover voluntary counselling and testing centres, care and support for people living with HIV/AIDS and targeted prevention for high-risk populations, including young people and the Roma minority.
Cuba’s grant agreement was the first in Latin America to be signed from the Global Fund’s pool of approved proposals from its second round of funding applications. The grant, worth up to US$ 11.5 million, will fund the country’s treatment and prevention programs for HIV/AIDS, including training counsellors and peer educators, and increasing access to antiretroviral therapy.
The grant agreement signed with East Timor is particularly significant because, as a newly independent country, it is rebuilding an economy and infrastructure that were almost completely destroyed in late 1999. The Global Fund grant for malaria control, worth US$ 3 million, will establish a pilot project for an integrated surveillance system for malaria, increase early case detection and treatment, and promote community education and involvement in prevention efforts.