TUESDAY, JUNE 19, 2018

Gates contributes $750 million to Global Fund

Bill Gates has contributed $750 million to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria in an effort to encourage other donors after the fund experienced problems with financial monitoring and extensive losses.

The Microsoft founder said that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's donation to the Geneva-based fund comes in addition to the $650 million it has contributed to the fund in the past decade. Gates downplayed the reported losses of tens of millions of dollars to undocumented spending, corruption and misuse, the Associated Press reports.

"These are tough economic times, but that is no excuse for cutting aid to the world's poorest," Gates said, according to the Associated Press. "If you're going to do business in Africa, you're going to have some losses."

Gates said that the public-private fund has improved the lives of the world's poor in 150 countries, including providing 3.3 million people with antiretroviral treatment, giving 230 million bed nets to prevent malaria, and detecting and treating 8.2 million people with tuberculosis.

Naoto Kan, Japan's former prime minister, said that Japan has also contributed $1.3 billion to the fund.

"The European debt crisis is shaking the world economy, which in turn seriously affects the fortunes of the Global Fund," Kan said, according to the Associated Press. "But it doesn't mean the significance of the Global Fund is less. The corruption exists. It's regrettable, but that's reality."

Simon Bland, the fund's chairman of the board, said that the organization will continue to "hold ourselves accountable" for what it spends.

"There will be no shying away from that transparency," Bland said, according to the Associated Press.