23 September 2004
Geneva, Switzerland, 23 September 2004- In response to an urgent appeal for additional resources for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria made by Nelson Mandela and others, the UK has announced a further contribution of US$ 5.3 million (£ 3 million).
This latest UK contribution to the Global Fund was announced by UK Secretary of State Hilary Benn. The contribution has been brought forward from the UK pledge for 2005.
The current appeal on behalf of the Global Fund was precipitated by a short-term imbalance in donor sources. For 2004, the United States pledged up to US$ 547 million for the Global Fund, provided that every US$ 1 was matched by US$ 2 from other donors by September 30, 2004.
Prior to the UK’s generous contribution, an additional US$ 189 million was still needed to maximize the US pledge, a sum which includes the value of outstanding pledges still due for 2004. Urgent consultations are underway seeking to achieve rapid payment of these outstanding pledges within the timeframe. Even if full payment of outstanding pledges from non-US donors were to be received by the Global Fund, US$ 53 million would still be needed to maximize the US contribution, before taking into account the new UK contribution.
An appeal for US$ 53 million was therefore made in a letter signed by Bono (on behalf of DATA – Debt AIDS Trade Africa), Nelson Mandela (on behalf of the Nelson Mandela Foundation) and Jack Valenti (on behalf of Friends of the Global Fight, an organization advocating on behalf of the Global Fund in the United States).
The letter was sent to Heads of State in Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom, all existing donors to the Global Fund, asking each of them for a further contribution of US $5.3 million by the deadline of September 30, to make up the outstanding US$ 53 million. The UK has been the first to respond, leaving the outstanding amount at $47.7 million. The Global Fund hopes that the UK precedent will spur other donors to action in response to this appeal.
The £3 million pledge from the UK follows the announcement by Prime Minister Tony Blair in July 2004 of a new pledge of £154 million over the next three years to the Global Fund, which effectively doubled the UK contribution for 2005-2007.
The UK has been a key donor to the Global Fund since making one of the very first pledges at the organization’s founding in 2001. The UK has also been a strong supporter of the Global Fund through advocacy at the highest political level. This will be of particular importance in 2005 when the UK assumes the presidency of the G8.
The Global Fund is a unique global public-private partnership dedicated to attracting and disbursing additional resources to prevent and treat AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. This partnership between governments, civil society, the private sector and affected communities represents a new approach to international health financing. The Fund works in close collaboration with other bilateral and multilateral organizations to supplement existing efforts dealing with the three diseases. The Global Fund has so far committed US $3 billion to over 300 programs in 128 countries.
Apart from a high standard of technical quality, the Global Fund attaches no conditions to its grants. It is not an implementing agency, instead relying on local ownership and planning to ensure that new resources are directed to programs with proven successes on the frontline of this global effort to reach those most in need. Its performance-based approach to grant-making is designed to ensure that funds are used efficiently and create change for people and communities. All programs are monitored by independent organizations contracted by the Global Fund to ensure that its funding is having an impact in the fight against the three pandemics.