Global Fund to donate $1.6 billion to HIV/AIDS programs

The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria recently announced that it will donate an additional $1.6 billion to new commitments over the next three years.

The Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS, known as UNAIDS, officially welcomed the announcement as beginning a new stage in their partnership.

"This ushers in a new era for the Global Fund and I am pleased to see that it is opening the door to new partnerships," Michel Sidibé, the executive director of UNAIDS, said. "The Global Fund must keep firmly focused on country successes and continue to leverage resources to ensure that countries can reach their goals and that more lives are saved."

The past several years have seen funding levels for the fight against HIV decline. UNAIDS said the global economic downturn has hampered countries' efforts to scale-up their public health programs. In response, many countries have had to reorganize domestic spending priorities for HIV. The volatility has, in turn, slowed the provision of HIV prevention and treatment services.

UNAIDS said the renewing focus on international partnerships and the shared responsibilities of donors and governments can build new frameworks that will allow more countries to meet the 2015 targets set in the 2011 U.N. Political Declaration on AIDS. It is urging the Global Fund to make the additional funding available as soon as possible.