16 May 2006
Geneva , Switzerland - One of the first donors to respond to calls for additional support in 2006, the government of Spain has announced an expanded pledge for the year, nearly doubling its initial pledge to 50 million (approximately US$ 64 million). The new pledge augments Spain's initial pledge of US$ 35 million (approximately â‚¬27.3 million) and makes new resources available to support the Global Fundâ€™s sixth round of grants, for which a proposal submission process was recently launched by the Board of the Global Fund
"Our pledge of additional support demonstrates Spain's confidence in the work of the Global Fund and our firm commitment to mobilizing the resources needed for the call for a sixth round of grants," said Ms. Leire PajÃn, Secretary of State for Cooperation." Global public health is a strong priority for Spain's national development expenditure and in the Health Strategy in Spanish Cooperation, and with our contribution we confirm our alignment with the Global Fund in the urgent need for progress against AIDS, TB and malaria.
The Spanish government's Master Plan for Spanish Cooperation 2005-2008 calls for a doubling of Official Development Assistance (ODA) from the current level of 0.24 percent to 0.5 percent of GNI. Spain has been one of the strongest European supporters of the Global Fund since its inception, pledging a total of US$ 165 million (approximately 128 million) since 2003. The pledge by the government of Spain is complemented by an additional new pledge of 1.5 million (approximately US$ 1.92 million) made by the Autonomous Community of Catalonia.
"We applaud Spain's reinforced support for the Global Fund," said Executive Director Prof Richard Feachem. "We call upon other donors to join with the Spanish government in mobilizing resources urgently needed to approve new initiatives against the three diseases later this year.
Founded four years ago with the aim of drastically scaling up the funds available to fight the three diseases, the Global Fund currently mobilizes 20 percent of international financing to combat HIV/AIDS, and 65 percent of all international funds invested in combating malaria and tuberculosis
Voting to launch the new round of grants at its April meeting, the Board of the Global Fund called for renewed efforts by current and potential donors to mobilize the additional resources needed for full funding of Round 6 by November of 2006
The Board approves programs for two years, with an option to renew funding for a second three-year phase if the programs achieve targeted results. Since it was created in January 2002, the Global Fund has approved US$ 5.1 billion to nearly 400 grants, supporting programs implemented in 131 countries.