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Sweden responds to urgent appeal from Bono and Mandela

07 October 2004

Geneva, Switzerland– Sweden has announced a new contribution to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria in response to an urgent appeal from Bono and Nelson Mandela. The Global Fund warmly welcomes Sweden’s important and continued commitment to winning the battle against these diseases.

With this latest contribution, Sweden has now pledged and contributed US$ 75.2 million (SEK 616 million) through 2004 to the Global Fund.

“There are still enormous needs when it comes to the prevention, care and treatment of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. Sweden attaches very high priority to this work,” said Mrs. Carin Jämtin, Sweden’s Minister for International Development Cooperation. “We also have great confidence in the Global Fund as an important financing mechanism. We are more than happy to be able to make this extra contribution.”

The new contribution of SEK 16 million (nearly US$ 2.2 million) comes in response to 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 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. The UK recently responded to the same appeal by bringing forward payment of US$ 5.3 million from its 2005 pledge.

The letter stated, “In less than three years, the Global Fund has raised, granted and disbursed historic levels of funding, providing hope to millions and invigorating public and private partners alike to invest more in the fight. It is just one mechanism, but there are encouraging signs that the Global Fund is making the difference we envisioned—however it is not currently enough to keep pace with the devastation of AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. That is why the challenge before us today is so great, and why we need your help.”

Lennarth Hjelmåker, the Swedish HIV/AIDS Ambassador, is the current chair of the Point Seven constituency on the Global Fund’s Board and was the world’s first HIV/AIDS Ambassador, appointed in 2003. The title of the constituency refers to the commitment of its member countries to reach an equitable development contribution of 7 percent of GDP. Sweden has been a Board member since the Global Fund’s inception.

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 requiring 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.

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