13 December 2007
Geneva - At the regional meeting for the Middle East and North Africa, held in Tunisia last week, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria announced it has received US$ 500,000 for the establishment of a "Friends" organization in the Middle East.
Al Hikma Pharmaceuticals, one of the leading generic pharmaceutical companies based in Jordan, donated US$ 250,000. The other half came from the Samih Darwazeh Foundation, which is named after Al Hikma Pharmaceuticals' current CEO.
The Global Fund benefits enormously from the work of Friends organizations through their efforts to promote understanding and to mobilize resources from both the public and private sector. Friends organizations working to advocate for greater support for the Global Fund already exist in the United States, Europe, Africa and Japan.
"We thank Al Hikma Pharmaceuticals and its founder Samih Darwazeh for their generous support for the establishment of a Friends organization for the Global Fund in the Middle East," said Dr Christoph Benn, Director of External Relations at the Global Fund. "Friends organizations are crucial support bodies for the mission of the Global Fund. We hope more organizations and foundations will follow Al Hikma's example so that we can soon welcome a new and strong Friends organization for the Middle East."
Al Hikma Pharmaceuticals also announced that they would host a meeting in Amman, Jordan, for setting up and agreeing on the objectives of Friends of the Fund Middle East.
Since its creation in 2002, the Global Fund has become the dominant financer of programs to fight AIDS, TB and malaria with approved funding of US$ 9.9 billion for more than 520 programs in 139 countries. So far, programs supported by the Global Fund have averted two million deaths through providing AIDS treatment for 1.4 million people, TB treatment for 3.3 million people, and through the distribution of 46 million insecticide-treated bed nets for the prevention of malaria worldwide.