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Countries request US$ 5.8 billion in new grants

14 August 2006

Toronto, Canada - The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria today announced that 97 countries have submitted proposals for its sixth round of grants, seeking an additional US$ 5.8 billion over five years.

The requests were received by the 3 August 2006 closing date for submissions. This represents an increase on the country proposals submitted in last year's round. Taken together, the newly-submitted proposals request US$ 2.4 billion of grants across 185 programs over two years, and US $ 5.8 billion over five years.

"This round of financing is crucial to assist countries in reaching global targets for universal access to treatment and prevention by 2010," said Richard Feachem, Executive Director of the Global Fund. "It is also important for countries to roll out effective national campaigns against malaria and achieve global targets against TB. The many applications show that countries are continuing to scale up their efforts, and have the capacity to do so. That is very good news."

Proposals to the Global Fund are submitted by Country Coordinating Mechanisms (CCMs), committees which include representation from the national government, nongovernmental organizations, donor countries and people living with the diseases. The Global Fund launched its sixth call for proposals in April of this year. The proposals now go for review to the Technical Review Panel (TRP) of independent health and development experts. Over the past five rounds, the TRP has recommended between 32 percent and 43 percent of all proposals. In November, the Global Fund Board will meet to approve recommended proposals.

Initial analysis shows that forty percent of proposals received request funding to combat HIV/AIDS, 31 percent malaria, and 29 percent tuberculosis. Consistent with prior calls for proposals, the largest number of requests for financial support comes from Africa, comprising nearly 50 percent of all proposals and requesting around 60 percent of total funding.

"Ethiopians know the Global Fund as a great partner in the fight against AIDS, TB and malaria. These proposals from 96 other countries as well as ourselves show how much support there is for the Global Fund model, with its emphasis on country ownership, close monitoring and proven results," said Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Ethiopian Minister of Health.

Supported by both effective resource mobilization efforts and proven country-led results, the Global Fund has been able to commit sufficient resources to finance all proposals recommended by the TRP to date. The Global Fund currently finances nearly 400 programs in 132 countries worth more than US$ 9 billion.

The Global Fund's available resources for Round 6 received major additional support last Wednesday from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The Foundation announced a new pledge of US$ 500 million to the Global Fund over five years, with the first US$ 200 million becoming available to help fund Round 6 proposals recommended by the TRP. The new pledge by the Gates Foundation significantly reduces the resource shortfall the Global Fund faces in order to fully fund Round 6.

"Following strong endorsements in the form of contributions by the Gates Foundation and the Russian Federation, this round of requests shows the confidence affected countries have in the Global Fund's approach to help meet their needs," said Carol Jacobs, the Chair of the Global Fund Board. "We must honor that confidence by making sure we secure sufficient pledges to finance every grant that is recommended for funding."

Including the new Gates contribution, the Global Fund now has a minimum of US$ 525 million available for Round 6. It will launch an urgent appeal to its donors for supplemental pledges to ensure that all recommended Round 6 proposals can be funded.

The announcement of the number of Round 6 proposals received by the Global Fund from CCM applicants is made against the backdrop of the International AIDS Conference, underway in Toronto this week, where more than 25,000 researchers, health workers, advocates and policy makers are gathered to discuss progress in the fight against AIDS.

Recently-compiled results for programs financed by the Global Fund are proving that treatment and prevention efforts are achieving significant results. With nearly 400 grants approved to countries worldwide, 544,000 people have begun antiretroviral (ARV) treatment through Global Fund-supported programs; programs providing DOTS (Directly Observed Treatment, Short course) have detected and treated more than 1.4 million cases of tuberculosis and programs to combat malaria expanded have provided 11.3 million insecticide-treated bed nets to women and children, primarily in Africa.

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