Posted on 13 October 2010.
LAST WEEK in New York the Global fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria failed to reach its goal of $20 billion in international contributions.
The fund received pledges of $11.7 billion making the fund $1.3 billion short of the $13 billion – its lowest fundraising target – needed to continue existing programs.
However, the new funding is up $2 billion from the $9.7 billion committed to the Global Fund in Berlin in 2007.
More than 40 countries, the European Commission, faith-based organisations, private foundations, and corporations committed funding at the pledging session in New York’s, United Nations. The UK pledge was £384 million or $607.4 million US Dollars.
But not everyone was so generous, Italy and Spain gave nothing to the fund and South Africa, which has the world’s most serious AIDS epidemic, made a contribution of only $2 million.
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said: “At a time when so many Governments are tightening their belts at home, these commitments send a powerful message: It shows how seriously world leaders want to do the right thing beyond their borders, too. It shows they understand the importance of health for all people.
“We need even more contributions by the private sector… and we must bring new donors to the table. Our work is about more than replenishing a fund; it is about replenishing hope and dignity in people’s lives.” added Ki-moon.
Dr. Michel Kazatchkine, the fund’s executive director said: “No one now on treatment will be cut off, but targets for the next few years must be lowered.”
The world’s population made its voice heard the day before the pledges, when the Global Fund present the results of the Born HIV Free campaign – fronted by Ambassador Carla Bruni-Sarkozy – since its launch in May 2010, the campaign has resulted in 700,000 people signing up in support of the Global Fund and had more than 20 million respondents and 250 million viewers: Sending a strong message to world leaders that they support those living with HIV and want the HIV pandemic brought under control.
With an estimated 33 million people infected with HIV – a figure that goes up year on year – the fund manages to pay for HIV drugs for three million. However, it is estimated that as many as 14 million have reached a stage in the disease were life saving treatment is vital to save their lives.
The fund did get an unexpected boost from the media, when a number European newspapers offered the organisation free full page advertisements including the UK’s Financial Times and The Independent.