15 July 2011
Geneva – The Global Fund warmly welcomes the decision by the Netherlands to commit a further €163.5 million for the period 2011-13. These financial resources will help the Global Fund support poor countries in their efforts to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria and to save lives.
Confirming the decision, the Netherlands Minister for European Affairs and International Cooperation Ben Knapen expressed his appreciation for the good results the Fund has achieved in a statement on the ministry’s website. The Fund’s programmes have saved more than 6.5 million lives in less than 10 years.
The Netherlands made the significant new funding pledge despite a reduction in the country’s overall official development assistance (ODA) budget.
The Netherlands is the tenth largest donor to the Global Fund and has been among the most generous in terms of its contributions as a percentage of gross national income. It has pledged more than €648 million, including this latest pledge, to the Global Fund since its creation in 2002.
“The strong commitment shown by the Netherlands has been absolutely vital for the Global Fund’s success so far,” said Global Fund Executive Director Prof. Michel Kazatchkine, who met Mr Knapen in The Hague this week. “The announcement of this new contribution demonstrates the Netherlands’ continued confidence in the life-saving work of the Global Fund.”
The Dutch announcement comes at a time that the Global Fund is implementing extensive reforms, which include a further strengthening of its fiduciary controls and financial safeguards. Mr Knapen referred to the Global Fund’s openness in communicating after the Global Fund uncovered and made public earlier this year that some of its grant money had been misappropriated in 4 countries. While concerned about the irregularities, Mr Knapen said he is satisfied with the measures taken by the Fund and its openness in communicating about the misappropriations. ‘The Netherlands does not wish to either reward secrecy or punish transparency,’ said the minister.