Global fund to spend $2.4 bln over two years

The Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria said it had secured $2.4 billion to combat the diseases over the next two years, despite the financial crisis threatening funding.
Since its launch in 2002 by the G8 club of rich nations, the fund has given grants worth $18 billion to 144 countries, mainly to sub-Saharan Africa. The three diseases kill millions each year on the world’s poorest continent.
“We are seeing a tremendous demand for funding,” fund director Michel Kazatchkine said. “We may not be able to continue approving such amounts of financing unless donor countries scale up their funding even further.”
The organisation said in July that it was facing a budget shortfall of about $3 billion as rich countries cut foreign aid in response to the global downturn. It raises money every three years, and in 2007 it secured more than $10 billion.
According to the fund, the programmes it finances have put 2.3 million people on treatment for HIV/Aids, while another 5.4 million people were treated for TB and 88 million treated nets were distributed to prevent the spread of malaria.