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New Global Fund grant results show substantial impact

29 June 2006

More than 40% Increase in People Reached Over Six Months

Johannesburg - With nearly 400 grants approved to combat HIV/ AIDS, TB and malaria, Global Fund-financed programs are proving that where money is invested, treatment and prevention efforts are working.

In its latest progress report published today, the Global Fund outlines the latest program results and looks at the initial data on how its grants affect health systems and indications of global impact in the fight against the diseases.

Newly-compiled performance results show that as of end April, 544,000 people have begun antiretroviral (ARV) treatment through Global Fund-supported programs-- up from 384,000 six months ago. The new figures show a more than four-fold increase since December of 2004 in the number of people started on ARV treatment with support from the Global Fund.

Taken together, programs providing DOTS (Directly Observed Short Course Treatment) have detected and treated more than 1.4 million cases of tuberculosis worldwide. In addition, Global Fund-supported programs to combat malaria expanded distribution of insecticide-treated bed nets to 11.3 million, up from 7.7 million in December 2005.

Early indications of impact on the three diseases show both that the additional funding of the Global Fund bears a promise of substantially reducing the prevalence of these diseases. The potential for most rapid progress is in the field of malaria, where concentrated investments have drastically reduced mortality within periods of less than two years and carry promise for a global turnaround in the prevalence and mortality rates.

Results at a Glance

Intervention Dec 2004 Dec 2005 June 2006 Increase since Dec 2005

HIV: People on ARV treatment

130,000

384,000

544,000

42%

TB: Cases treated under DOTS

385,000

1 million

1.4 million

43%

Malaria: Insecticide-treated nets distributed

1.35 million

7.7 million

11.3 million

47%

"This latest set of performance figures comes as very good news," said Richard Feachem, Executive Director of The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. "These results demonstrate that where countries are given the resources they need, progress against this pandemic is possible. It shows that with sufficient global resources, we can drive back this scourge."

The report finds that the Global Fund's system of performance-based funding does appear not to penalize poor countries, as countries with the lowest wealth, health systems or human resources for health have no worse performance during their first two years of grant implementation. Even countries known as "fragile states" (due to extreme poverty, recent armed conflict or weak governments) do not fare significantly worse than other countries, with two thirds of them showing satisfactory performance. Many of these "fragile states" have developed a close collaboration between government and civil society in implementation of national health programs, compensating for weaknesses in public sector.

Civil society organizations are strong implementers, with 30 percent of their grants over-performing and the remaining 70 percent showing satisfactory performance. There are strong indications that countries can drastically increase their national absorptive capacity by channeling more of its health spending through non-governmental and faith-based organizations.

Global Fund support for efforts to combat AIDS account for 56 percent of the total US$ 5.4 billion committed to date for programs in 131 countries to fight the three diseases. Of the US$ 3 billion allocated to AIDS, half is dedicated to prevention activities while the other half is allocated to treatment.

In 2005, the Global Fund was responsible for an estimated 20 percent of all international funding in support of efforts to combat HIV/AIDS, and approximately two-thirds of global funding for programs against TB and malaria.

Over the past three years, Global Fund financing has enabled nearly 53 countries to change from malaria drugs which have become increasingly ineffective to the new artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT), which has the potential to drastically reduce mortality from malaria among children and pregnant mothers. In some countries, Global Fund grants have also provided blanket coverage of new, long-lasting insecticide-treated bed nets, which afford more durable, effective protection against malaria to vulnerable populations. The roll-out of ACT or other effective combination therapies and bed nets - in combination with targeted insecticide spraying and strengthening of expertise, infrastructure and training - is expected to reduce malaria mortality in large parts of Africa in the coming years.

On average, data compiled shows that grants to combat all three diseases are exceeding targets set out in their respective grant agreements, which serve as the basis of the Global Fund's performance-based grant evaluation. The new results released today represent the aggregation of numbers issued directly from reports on progress by individual grants.

While the new treatment and prevention figures demonstrate the Global Fund's expanding track record in saving lives, raising awareness among vulnerable populations and preventing further infections, the Global Fund's funding gap for years 2006 and 2007 threatens to curtail the momentum of funded programs as well as funding for new rounds of grants

"New rounds of grants in 2006 and 2007 will provide the opportunity for countries to expand the considerable progress we are seeing against the three diseases", said Carol Jacobs, Chair of the Global Fund Board. "Donors need to make long-term commitments of sufficient resources to enable developing countries to plan for the future with confidence that funding for their lifesaving activities will not trail off."

Expected outcomes of grants approved in Rounds 1 - 5 after five years:

  • More than 1.8 million people on antiretrovirals
  • 62 million clients reached with voluntary counseling & testing services for HIV
  • Over 1 million orphans supported through medical services, education and community care
  • 5 million additional tuberculosis cases treated under DOTS treatment strategy
  • 264 million artemisinin-based combination treatments for drug-resistant malaria delivered
  • 109 million bed nets financed to protect families from the transmission of malaria
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