27 September 2007
Berlin - Donors meeting here Thursday provided initial pledges to The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria worth US$9.7 billion over three years. The pledges constitute the largest single financing exercise for health ever, and it will allow the Global Fund to move towards annual commitments of US$6 - 8 billion by 2010.
"I am very pleased with the pledges made at this meeting," said the Chair of the Global Fund's Replenishment Mechanism and former UN Secretary General, Mr Kofi Annan. "With these new resource pledges, the global community has taken a significant step towards achieving the goals we have set for fighting these diseases."
The donor meeting was hosted by the German federal government and was opened by Chancellor Angela Merkel. As President of the Group of Eight this year, Germany has worked to strengthen the fight against infectious diseases in the developing world and in her opening remarks, Chancellor Merkel stressed that Germany sees the refinancing of the Global Fund as an important part of this effort.
German Development Minister Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul was pleased with the outcome of the conference: "We have been delighted to host the replenishment conference for the Global Fund. It is good to know that, here in Berlin, we have charted a course that will enable millions of lives to be saved. Germany has doubled its annual contributions and, in doing so, has itself taken a decisive step towards delivering on the pledges it made in Heiligendamm."
The Berlin Donor Meeting is the first occasion for donors to secure the Global Fund's resource needs of US$12 - 18 billion for 2008 - 2010 as demand will grow. It follows a meeting in Oslo, Norway in March where resource needs were established. A follow-up conference will take place in early 2009. In addition, some major donor nations are prevented by their budgeting procedures to provide commitments for more than one year at a time and will announce their contributions at a later time.
The total pledging amount is constituted of firm pledges as well as projections of floor level financing expected by some countries, private sector and innovative funding mechanisms.
"These pledges are warmly welcomed and we will make sure they are invested well," said the Chair of the Global Fund's Board, Mr Rajat Gupta. "The Global Fund now is the leading financier of programs to fight the three diseases. We have secured the initial resources necessary to take the global fight against these diseases to a new level."
The Global Fund currently provides around two thirds of all international financing to fight TB and malaria and nearly a quarter of the global resources against AIDS.
"The Global Fund will ensure that the money is invested responsibly, professionally and transparently in effective, sustainable, life-saving action," said the Executive Director of the Global Fund, Dr Michel Kazatchkine. "But the Global Fund is also a partnership. It is now important that bilateral and international agencies, implementing countries, civil society and private sector partners work together to harmonize and coordinate our efforts."