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Donors assess Global Fund resource needs

01 April 2009

Caceres - Donors to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria met in Caceres, Spain, March 31 - April 1 to review progress and to assess funding needs midway through its current three-year funding cycle.

In their first meeting since the replenishment conference held in Berlin in 2007, delegates representing 28 donor countries and foundations welcomed the evidence of impact of Global Fund grants against the three diseases, which they said provides powerful arguments for scaling up programs.

Delegates praised Spain, which hosted the conference, for raising its contribution to the Global Fund for this year to US$ 213 million.

All donors confirmed that they expect fully to meet funding commitments made in Berlin in September 2007. Total donor contributions available for grants in the 2008-2010 replenishment cycle are now expected to reach at least US$ 9.5 billion at current exchange rates.

An analysis by the Global Fund shows total demand from recipient countries of at least US$ 13.5 billion over the period 2008-2010, a level which participants said was realistic.

The question of how to fill an estimated funding gap of at least US$ 4 billion urgently needs to be addressed as the Global Fund’s Board will be approving a ninth round of proposals from recipient countries in November this year.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who addressed the conference in a video link, urged donors to ensure that the Global Fund is fully funded.

“The Global Fund needs an additional US$ 4 billion to continue to meet its goals up to 2010. In this time of economic crisis, I say to you that spending on AIDS, TB and malaria is a smart investment,” he said. “The Global Fund is helping countries to set ambitious targets. It is helping them to achieve concrete results. And it is giving affected populations a real voice in programs and policies that affect them,” he added.

Babatunde Osotimehin, Health Minister of Nigeria, and Seydou Bouda, Health Minister of Burkina Faso, both attending the meeting, praised the results achieved in their respective countries with the Global Fund’s support.

The Global Fund has committed US$ 15 billion since it was established in 2002 to fund more than 600 programs in 140 countries to fight the three diseases, which claim more than four million lives a year.

The last two years have seen reductions in mortality in a number of countries for AIDS and malaria and a continued fall in global TB prevalence that was first noted in 2004.

“In view of the funding gap and the impact of a global economic crisis on the developing world, the Global Fund looks forward to how leaders of G20 countries address this situation at their summit in London on April 2,” said Michel Kazatchkine, the Global Fund’s Executive Director. He said G8 leaders will also address the same challenge when they meet in La Maddalena, Italy in July.

Delegates in Caceres said much of the additional resources needed by the Global Fund would have to come from donors who have committed to increasing their Official Development Assistance budgets in order to meet targets set at Monterrey in 2002.

They also called on the Global Fund to step up efforts to seek new government donors and attract more private sector contributions. Delegates from South Korea attended for the first time.

Several donors indicated that they would soon consider making additional contributions in response to the success achieved by Global Fund programs.

Kazatchkine said measures were being taken to ensure efficiency gains in the Global Fund's grants and in the Secretariat in areas such as travel, telecommunications and corporate procurement of goods and services.

Turning to the impact of the Global Fund’s programs, he said: "We are now affecting the course of these three epidemics. In the case of malaria, in particular, we are on a trajectory to achieve universal access to bed nets by 2011 and have reason to be hopeful the Millennium Development Goal for malaria can actually be reached.”

In 2010, the Global Fund will call on donors to secure funding for a new three-year period, 2011 – 2013.

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