The head of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria says progress is being made against AIDS, but much more money is needed. Richard Feachem spoke Monday at the 16th International AIDS Conference in Toronto. With about 40 million people living with HIV/AIDS and millions more infected each year, there is no shortage of requests for money from the Global Fund. Feachem says so far it has approved money for 386 programs in 132 countries. VOA English to Africa Service reporter Joe De Capua has more information about what is still needed in the fight against HIV/AIDS.
With about 40-million people living with HIV/AIDS and millions more infected each year, there is no shortage of requests for money from the Global Fund. Feachem says, so far, it has approved money for 386 programs in 132 countries.
“There is much, much more to be done. The counterattack against HIV/AIDS has begun. The enemy has bee slowed, but not halted. We have not yet turned the corner in the fight against HIV/AIDS, but we can for the first time see the corner.”
In the latest round of funding requests, 97 countries have submitted proposals totaling $5.8 billion. The Fund’s technical team will now review those proposals and make recommendations in November.
“Up to now, the Global Fund has been able to fully finance al applications in the first five rounds that have been recommended for financing by our independent technical review panel. Round six is the round for 2006. We launched round six in April. The closing date for applications was August the third. We have received 185 applications from 97 countries, showing that the demand for Global Fund financing and the confidence across the developing world that that finance can be used effectively remain very high.”
Feachem says Africa would benefit from the latest round of funding.
“Forty percent of the applications are for AIDS, thirty percent for malaria and 30 percent for TB. Fifty percent of the applications are from Africa, but in dollar terms 60 percent of the dollars applied for are dollars for Africa.”
Despite the recent $500 million pledge from Bill and Melinda Gates, he says there are still “major funding needs to fill.”
Feachem says the mood in Toronto is one of hope and the message is Time to Deliver, the conference theme. But he says delivery requires finance – finance that is “sustainable and predictable.”
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