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Global Fund Closes Funding Gap

16 December 2005

All Round Five Grants Approved By Global Fund Board Round Six Planned For 2006

Marrakech - At its final meeting for 2005, the Board of the Global Fund voted to fully fund its fifth round of grant proposals, bringing the total of resources allocated for new grants in 2005 to US$ 729 million. These resources will be used to support 63 grant funded programs, with 40 percent of funds approved for grants to combat HIV/ AIDS, 27 percent for tuberculosis, 27 percent allocated to malaria and the remaining funds for strengthening of countries' health systems.

The Board also decided to begin preparations so that a sixth round of financing can be launched and approved in 2006.

At its previous meeting in September of this year, the Global Fund's Board was able to approve funding for only a portion of the proposals recommended by an independent Technical Review Panel (TRP) for Round 5, due to a resource shortfall of US$ 344 million. By Global Fund policy, the TRP may recommend technically sound grants for approval, but the Board can only approve grants for which firm pledges exist for the year in which the approval is made. The increase in available resources over past weeks resulted from a technical shift in funding requirements from 2005 to 2006 which freed up additional resources in 2005, and through additional last-minute pledges from donors including Australia, Iceland, Ireland, Luxembourg, Norway, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.

"We are immensely grateful for the extraordinary efforts that these six European countries, with Australia, have made to ensure that Round 5 is fully funded in 2005," said Richard Feachem, the Executive Director of the Global Fund. "Their generosity brings hope to millions of people around the globe who will benefit from the prevention and treatment activities that the Global Fund will support financially."

Feachem also paid special tribute to UK Secretary of State for International Development, Hilary Benn. "At our ninth Board meeting in Arusha one year ago, it was the impassioned speech by Mr Benn that ensured the launch of Round 5 despite uncertainty concerning available resources. The announcement this week by the UK Department for International Development, of a further pledge for 2005 of £37 million, closes the circle, thus enabling all successful Round 5 applications to get underway this year."

The Board voted to approve the Round 5 grants during its twelfth Board meeting, hosted by Morocco on December 15th and 16th. The Global Fund's final Board meeting for each year is hosted by a Global Fund recipient country, and rotates through the Global Fund's eight regional groupings of countries.

The Board also voted not to continue funding for an existing grant for prevention activities in South Africa. The grant, financing activities by a non-governmental organization by the name of loveLife, was deemed to not have sufficiently addressed weaknesses in its implementation which originally led the Global Fund Secretariat to recommend no continued funding after two years.

The Global Fund continues to face a resource shortfall of approximately US$ 1.1 billion for 2006, and US$ 2.6 billion for 2007. These figures include provisions for three new rounds of grant funding over the two-year period.

As the Global Fund strives to close the 2006-2007 funding gap, recently-compiled results for existing grants show that funds put to work to combat the three diseases are making a significant impact. As of end November 2005, 384,000 people have begun antiretroviral (ARV) treatment through Global Fund-supported programs - up from 220,000 six months ago, and nearly triple the number of ARV recipients funded by Global Fund resources one year ago. Taken together, Global Fund-supported programs to combat malaria expanded distribution of insecticide treated bed nets to 7.7 million, up from 3.1 million six months ago. In addition, tuberculosis programs have detected and treated more than one million TB cases through DOTS (Directly Observed Short Course Treatment).

Results at a Glance

Intervention Dec 2004 May 2005 Dec 2005 Increase since May 2005
HIV: People on ARV treatment 130,000 220,000 384,000 75%
TB: Cases treated under DOTS 385,000 600,000 1 million 67%
Malaria: Insecticide-treated nets distributed 1.35 million 3.1 million 7.7 million 150%

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