Head of Italian parliament recommends support for Global Fund

Laura Boldrini, the president of Italy's Chamber of Deputies, recently urged her country to resume support for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, the fund said on Friday.

Boldrini's statement was released on Thursday in an effort to welcome Christoph Benn, the Global Fund's director of external relations, who spoke at the Chamber of Deputies about the fund's work. Boldrini said the Global Fund is fundamentally contributing to the fight against malaria, TB and AIDS.

"We cannot either lower our guard or desist in our efforts to fight - and to defeat - the so-called 'big three,'" Boldrini said. "It is therefore essential that the fund should receive contributions that have been promised by different donor governments - including Italy - and that this happens as soon as possible."

Boldrini is the head of one of Italy's two legislative bodies. The other law-making chamber is the Senate.

Italy is the eighth-largest donor to the Global Fund, contributing approximately $1 billion since the fund began operations in 2002.

While Italy did not pledge or contribute to the fund in the 2011-2013 period, Italy plays an active role in fund governance through the European Union Constituency on the Global Fund board. The board includes Portugal, Finland, Belgium, Spain, Italy and the European Commission.

The Global Fund is convening a once every three years donor conference in late 2013, which is known as the Global Fund's fourth replenishment.