31 October 2003
Geneva, Switzerland – The Global Fund warmly welcomes the announcement by the European Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid, Mr Poul Nielson, of approval by European Union member states to accelerate disbursement of €170 million in funding to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
Executive Director of the Global Fund, Dr Richard Feachem, said, “This is wonderful news for the Global Fund and the communities that are looking to the Global Fund for commitments to increase the scale of our collective fight against AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.”
The overall financing need of the Global Fund through 2004 is projected at around US$ 3 billion. This latest European Commission commitment will make an enormous difference in the Global Fund’s work of sustaining the momentum of effective programs in countries around the world. “We deeply appreciate the confidence and support this contribution represents from the European Commission,” said Dr Feachem.
Together, the 15 EU Member States and the Commission are the biggest donor to the Global Fund, having contributed around 55% of the total pledge to the Global Fund so far of US$ 4.8 billion. The European Commission alone has pledged €460 million until 2006 from the General Commission Budget and the European Development Fund (EDF), becoming the second largest single supporter.
In three rounds of funding applications to date, the Global Fund has approved grants to 121 countries and three territories, including those with the greatest present disease burden and those at risk of future disaster. Two years of initial financing totaling US$ 2.1 billion have been committed to over 220 programs fighting the three diseases. Sixty percent of this total is for Africa; 60% is for AIDS. Half of the money will be used by governments; half by NGOs. Half is for the purchase of medicines and commodities, and half is for infrastructure and training.
The European Commission has previously contributed €120 million for 2001-2002 and had pledged €340 million for 2003-2006, drawn from the EDF and the General Commission Budget. Yesterday, EU member states approved the early disbursement to the Global Fund of the full EDF portion of this pledge, enabling its rapid deployment in the fight against the three diseases.