20 November 2003
The Global fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria welcomes today’s announcement by British Prime Minister Tony Blair and US President George W. Bush to increase their cooperative efforts in the fight against HIV/AIDS, with initial emphasis on five heavily affected African countries – Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda and Zambia.
“We applaud the commitment and leadership of the Prime Minister and the President, and welcome the increased donor coordination and support for prevention and treatment in some of the hardest hit countries in Africa,” says Richard Feachem, Executive Director of the Global Fund. “The Global Fund looks forward to strengthened collaboration with US and British efforts.”
The announcements were made at a meeting at No 10 Downing Street between the two government leaders and health ministers from the five African countries, civil society representatives, UNAIDS and the Global Fund. At the meeting the best strategies to achieve results were discussed as well as the need for coordination both among donors and between donor and recipient priorities.
The Global Fund has already committed US$202 million to fight HIV/AIDS in the five countries on which the US and UK governments are now focusing. Overall, the Global Fund has committed $2.1 billion over two years to fight AIDS, TB and malaria in 121 countries. President Bush has committed $15 billion over five years to the fight against AIDS, some of which will be channeled through the Global Fund. UK bilateral funding has committed £270 million for 2002/2003 against AIDS. In addition, the UK is a major contributor to the Global Fund.
“Of the nearly $5 billion now committed to the Global Fund, 40% is contributed by the US and the UK,” said Dr Feachem. “Without the strong support of these governments, and Prime Minister Blair and President Bush personally, the Global Fund would not exist as a leading financier of effective interventions against the three diseases.”