Global Fund Faces $3B Funding Shortfall

The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria is facing a budget shortfall of about $3 billion, Marcela Rojo, a Global Fund spokesperson, said on Friday, Reuters reports. Rojo said the Global Fund needs $170 million to pay for the programs it committed to supporting last year, and the organization will need between $2.5 billion and $3 billion to maintain and finance programs planned for 2010. “The Global Fund will need a substantially higher amount than the one pledged at the last replenishment in Berlin in 2007 ($10 billion),” Rojo said, adding, “The decisions that are made in the next 18 months will be critical for sustaining the gains achieved in global health so far and further scaling up programmes.”

According to Reuters, the U.S. “is the largest donor supporting public health programmes through the Global Fund.” Since the Global Fund was created in 2002, Washington has pledged more than $4.4 billion to support its programs. “Question marks over funding for the Global Fund’s long-term programmes may raise public health threats, because patients receiving AIDS and tuberculosis drugs need to keep taking the treatment to avoid developing resistance to it,” writes Reuters (MacInnis, 7/3).