16 July 2006
Russia announces new pledge at G8 Summit
St. Petersburg - The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria welcomes the announcement made by the Russian Federation at the G8 Summit of a new pledge to the Global Fund.
Russia has committed US$ 270 million through 2010 to reimburse the cost of all the Global Fund's projects in Russia to date.
"This support from the Russian government is a serious indication of the country's commitment to halting a growing public health threat due to HIV and TB within its own borders and around the world," said Richard Feachem, the Executive Director of the Global Fund. "Russia is making contributions to the Global Fund while also increasing its domestic budget for HIV and TB prevention and treatment programs."
The creation of the Global Fund was called for by the G8 at their 2001 Summit in Genoa, Italy. Five years later, the Global Fund's support has translated into 544,000 people receiving lifesaving antiretroviral therapy for people living with HIV, 7 million people sleeping under insecticide-treated bed nets to protect them from malaria and 1.43 million people treated for tuberculosis.
In 2005, the G8 called for an "AIDS-free generation in Africa", which would be accomplished by coming "as close as possible" to universal access to treatment by 2010. This promise will only be possible through vigorous financial commitments from G8 nations.
Since 2002, the Global Fund has approved five grants for Russia to fight AIDS and TB. During that time, the Government of Russia has begun to significantly increase its domestic spending on HIV.
In Eastern Europe and Central Asia, the Global Fund is now the largest external donor for efforts to prevent and treat HIV and tuberculosis, having already committed more than US$ 700 million in the region.
While Global Fund-financed programs in Eastern Europe and Central Asia are still young - on average just 19 months since the start of their grants - by the end of 2005, they had reached more than 2.1 million people with AIDS prevention activities and provided HIV testing and counseling for more than 700,000 people - an essential measure for both preventing and treating the disease. In addition, these programs had brought 3,200 people onto antiretroviral treatment regimens and delivered care and support to 17,000 orphans and other vulnerable children. The Global Fund is also investing heavily in TB programs in the region with more than 23,000 people reached with treatment to date.
The Global Fund is a unique global public-private partnership dedicated to attracting and disbursing additional resources to prevent and treat HIV/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.
Currently, the Global Fund has approved grants for 386 programs in 131 countries with a total commitment of US$5.4 billion. As of June 2006, 544,000 people have begun antiretroviral (ARV) treatment through Global Fund-supported programs, a more than 40 percent increase over six months earlier. Taken together, Global Fund-supported programs to combat malaria expanded distribution of insecticide-treated bed nets to 11.3 million. In addition, tuberculosis programs have detected and treated more than 1.4 million TB cases under DOTS, the internationally approved TB control strategy.