Global Fund approves over 1 bln dlrs in new grants to fight disease

Staff Writers | 12 Nov 2007
Agence France Presse
The Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria on Monday said it has approved 73 new grants worth more than 1.1 billion dollars (757 million euros) in developing countries over the next two years.

The Fund, a public-private partnership set up by the then United Nations secretary general Kofi Annan in 2002, approved the grants during a board meeting in Kunming, China, it said in a statement.

The new grants mean the Fund's budget is now 32 percent higher than the 846 million dollars initially forecast for 2007.

AIDS projects make up 48 percent of the total, malaria 42 percent and TB 10 percent, the Fund said.

Two thirds of the projects (66 percent) are in Africa, 13 percent in Asia, 13 percent in the Middle East and 5 percent in Latin America, it added.

"This is the largest funding round in the Global Fund's history. The board is pleased with the strength and high level of ambition of the new grants and is looking forward to scaling up in the fight against the three diseases," said board chair Rajat Gupta.

For malaria, some 62 percent of the proposals were approved and 19 countries will benefit from the new packages.

The Global Fund has said it needs between 12 and 18 billion dollars to fund its existing programmes and initiate new ones between 2008 and 2010.

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