©   Fund

 Global fund





 NGOs and Civil Society

 Private Sector


 Funding Proposals

 Review Process

 For Journalists

 Background Documents









 Contact Us

 Site Map


The Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis & Malaria


29 January 2002
Funding Criteria Announced and Board of Directors Elected; First Round of Grants To Be Awarded in April

GENEVA, 29 January 2002 - The Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, set up to help combat these three diseases that kill a daunting six million people a year, has approved its first call for funding proposals from country partnerships hard hit by the epidemics. The initial round of grants, to be awarded in April, will be the first made from the Fund, which was initiated last year by an alliance of private donors, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), foundations, national governments and intergovernmental organizations.

"The Fund is an unprecedented cooperative effort to combat the world's deadliest epidemics," said Paul Ehmer, Team Leader of the Secretariat. "Today, we are taking a major step forward, moving rapidly to get these resources to the people that need them most. This is not just a matter of caring and compassion -- it is economically wise as well. The diseases we are addressing have a terrible impact both on human lives and on economic development." A report released recently by leading economists and health experts reaffirms that healthy people are essential to a nation's economic prosperity.

The Fund will finance plans developed through country partnerships in severely affected countries as well as in areas with growing epidemics. It will also support plans in countries that have demonstrated the highest level political commitment to eradicating these diseases. Its approach will be integrated and balanced, covering prevention, treatment, and care and support in dealing with the three diseases.

Proposals will be funded rapidly, with minimum red tape, but with enough safeguards to make sure funds are used responsibly and effectively. Also, the Fund will finance projects that are most likely to clearly demonstrate measurable success.

To date, industrialized and developing countries, corporations, foundations and individuals have pledged some US$ 1.9 billion to the Fund, including a US$ 200 million pledged by the US yesterday. Up to US$ 700 million are expected to be disbursed in 2002. While this is an important start, far more resources are needed. The Fund's aim is to attract significant additional resources that will increase the pool of money already available to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.

"To be able to responsibly spend millions of dollars in a way that will make a measurable difference takes time," said Mr Ehmer. "We must get it right."

The Purpose of the Fund

At a meeting concluded today in Geneva, the newly-elected Board of Directors approved a call for proposals and finalized a set of guidelines for their submission, which are designed to help potential recipient country partnerships apply for funding. The guidelines explain eligibility, application procedures, the types of project the Fund is prepared to support, and the criteria on which funding decisions will be based. The guidelines also explain the proposal review process, and provide details on how the projects will be monitored and evaluated.

"The Fund will support interventions based on best practice that have the potential to fight the three diseases effectively and with lasting results," said Paul Ehmer. "AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria have a devastating global impact. The objective of the Fund is to raise significant new resources to fight them, and to apply these resources in the most strategic and intelligent manner possible. The streamlined grant-making process we are announcing today is designed to minimize unnecessary delays, and maximize the support available for front-line efforts to control these epidemics."

The Fund is an independent, public-private partnership whose cornerstone objective is to help save lives by making an ongoing and significant contribution to reducing infections, illness and death. It was created to share resources and expertise across national boundaries and private and public sectors in order to make significant progress in fighting AIDS, TB and malaria. These three diseases have a devastating global impact and together are responsible for nearly six million deaths a year - 10% of the world's total - as well as unimaginable social and economic hardship. Together, the three diseases are responsible for more than one-third of all deaths in Africa. HIV/AIDS kills about half - three million deaths in 2001 - while malaria and TB share the rest of the burden.

How the Fund is Administered

A unique feature of the Fund is its composition. Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) sit on the Board with two voting seats, as does the private sector. The NGO seats, one from a developing country and one from an industrialized one, belong to the German Institute for Medical Mission and to Health Rights Action from Uganda. The private sector has two seats, one for foundations, held by the Gates Foundation, and the other for private companies, represented by Anglo-American PLC.

All members were chosen by their own constituencies - governments, NGOs and the private sector. Board members are appointed for two years, with equal representation - seven seats each - from donor and developing country governments.

Donor countries represented on the Board are France, Italy, Japan, Sweden, the UK, the US and the European Commission. Some of these seats have alternates and will rotate among countries. The seven developing countries on the Board include, China, Brazil, Nigeria, Pakistan, Thailand, Uganda, Ukraine.

In addition to regular Board members, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and the World Health Organization (WHO), along with the World Bank, which handles the Fund's finances, hold ex-officio non-voting seats on the Board. The Board's composition includes a person living with or affected by HIV/AIDS, TB or malaria, also in a non-voting seat.

The Fund will not be business as usual. Nor will it be a large bureaucracy. A small Secretariat located in Geneva manages the Fund's work and recruitment of the permanent executive head and staff is beginning. Meantime, an interim Secretariat is being staffed by secondments from UN organizations and governments.

The Road to the Fund

The concept of a fund was initially raised 18 months ago at the G-8 summit in Okinawa. The notion was endorsed at the UN General Assembly Special Session on HIV/AIDS in June 2001 and again at the G-8 Summit in Genoa under the Italian presidency in July 2001. It was championed by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, whose calls for stronger action kept attention focused on the Fund. Shortly thereafter, a Transitional Working Group (TWG) was set up to establish a new Fund, broadened to include tuberculosis and malaria.

During its mandate, the TWG - made up of more than 40 representatives from developing and donor countries, NGOs, the private sector, foundations and associations of people living or affected by HIV/AIDS, TB or malaria -negotiated the design and operations of the Fund, including its legal status, management structure, financial systems and general eligibility criteria. This process involved three meetings of the TWG, regional consultations in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe, and thematic consultations with civil society, the private sector and academia. At its last meeting in December 2001, the TWG handed over its package of recommendations to the new Board and was dissolved.

Mobilizing additional public and private resources will be a key goal for the Fund. The Fund's second board meeting will take place towards the end of April in New York.

Back on top