News Releases

The Global Fund signs new AIDS, TB grants with Morocco

30 May 2007

Casablanca - The Minister of Health of Morocco, Dr Mohamed Cheikh Biadillah and Professor Michel Kazatchkine, Executive Director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, signed two new grants worth US$ 30 million to scale up the fight against AIDS and TB in the country over the next five years.

"Morocco has been a leading force in the Middle East and North Africa in the fight against HIV/AIDS," Professor Kazatchkine said. "The country has been a pioneer in prevention activities by providing AIDS education and outreach as well as counseling and testing services to more than 5,000 people in vulnerable populations. We are confident that these new funds will enable Morocco to strengthen current programs so that it can continue to prevent transmission of new infections and maintain the low prevalence of HIV/AIDS among the Moroccan population."

Morocco currently administers HIV prevention and treatment programs with a Global Fund grant worth US$ 9.2 million over five years. According to statistics from UNAIDS, there are 15,000 people living with HIV/AIDS in Morocco. The new grant is intended to contribute to reductions in HIV/AIDS transmission among vulnerable populations and to aid in decreasing illness and death among people living with HIV/AIDS by strengthening and expanding medical and psychosocial care.

The TB grant will strengthen Morocco's national plan for halting the spread of TB by expanding its geographic coverage and focusing efforts on the most under-privileged areas in the large cities, especially in population groups in precarious situations, with the goal of protecting poor and vulnerable populations from tuberculosis, multi-drug resistant bacilli tuberculosis (MDR-TB) and HIV/tuberculosis co-infection.

"This new funding will help us to get ahead of these diseases and provide more security for Moroccans, especially those in poor communities who are often more vulnerable to contracting disease," said Dr Cheikh Biadillah. "Our partnership with the Global Fund has allowed us to substantially strengthen our fight against HIV/AIDS. We are looking forward to working closely with the Global Fund as we scale up our efforts against TB."

Since its creation in 2002, the Global Fund has grown to become the dominant financer of programs to fight AIDS, TB and malaria, with US$ 10.4 billion in firm pledges and approved funding of US$ 7.6 billion for 450 programs in 136 countries. So far, programs supported by the Global Fund have averted 1.8 million deaths through providing AIDS treatment for 1.1 million people, TB treatment for 2.8 million people, and through distributing 30 million insecticide-treated bed nets for the prevention of malaria worldwide.