The head of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria says he is committed to raising billions to dollars to fight HIV/AIDS. Dr. Richard Feachem addressed the 14th International AIDS Conference in Barcelona in his first public appearance as the fund's executive director.
He said the money released so far is making multiple drug therapy, known as HAART (highly active anti-retroviral therapy), available to many more people. But he says much more needs to be done.
"The Global Fund, as you know, has already committed $1.6 billion to 40 programs in 31 countries," said Dr. Feachem. "And over 60 percent of these monies are going to HIV/AIDS. These commitments will double the current number of people receiving HAART in the developing world. And in Africa, HAART recipients will increase sixfold as a result of these commitments. This is nothing like enough."
He says the fund needs a "massive increase in resources and needs them quickly."
At a time of corporate scandals and financial mismanagement in the United States, Dr. Feachem promised to fulfill his mission or be held accountable. "I commit to maximizing the resources that flow into the fund. I commit to ensuring that the expenditures of the global fund go quickly to those on the frontline, who can use them and make a real difference in peoples' lives. I commit to accountability," he promised. "The resources with which we are entrusted must not be lost, diverted, stolen or in any way misspent."
The head of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria promises a "world record in bureaucratic efficiency."