04 August 2003
Geneva – The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) today to reaffirm their mutual engagement to strengthen the global response to the three epidemics. The MOU outlines the complementary strengths and roles of both partners in reducing the severe impact of AIDS, TB and malaria on communities in developing countries. It recognizes the Global Fund as a critical financing mechanism to scale-up national programmes and UNAIDS as a key source of strategic analysis, policy advice and technical expertise to help countries access and use the resources of the Global Fund.
“For the first time in the short history of the AIDS epidemic – and decisively in the case of malaria and TB – we have the potential to reverse these epidemics through increased political and financial commitments,” said Dr Peter Piot, UNAIDS Executive Director, during the signing ceremony. “The Global Fund is an indispensable resource in seizing this historic opportunity and accelerating the response to these three diseases. The UN system stands committed to making the Global Fund a success.”
Richard Feachem, Executive Director of the Global Fund, affirmed, “Fighting these diseases is a job for all of us. The finance of the Global Fund must be complemented by technical support to countries, so that both public and private recipients can maximize their efforts to fight AIDS, TB and malaria. The world depends on the in-country assistance provided by UNAIDS as well as its tireless role in global advocacy and coordination.”
In just 18 months, through two rounds of grants, the Global Fund has committed US$ 1.5 billion to over 150 programs in 92 countries. Through 2004, US$ 2.6 billion has been pledged to the Fund, with an additional US$ 2.1 billion pledged for 2005 to 2008. New contributions of US$ 3 billion are required before the end of 2004 to fund its next three rounds of grant approvals.
According to UNAIDS and WHO estimates, over US$ 10.5 billion a year will be needed in 2005 for AIDS prevention, treatment, care and support programmes in low- and middle-income countries. About US$ 4.7 billion will be spent this year to fight the epidemic in developing countries, leaving a funding shortfall of close to US$ 6 billion.