The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has announced a five-year, $750 million commitment to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, bringing its total contributions to the fund since it was established ten years ago to $1.4 billion.
Announced at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, the funds will be provided in the form of a promissory note, a legally binding agreement for future payment, which will give the fund the flexibility and authority it needs to distribute support immediately to prevention and treatment programs in countries with high burdens of disease.
Since 2002, the Global Fund has provided antiretroviral treatment to 3.3 million people, helped detect and treat 8.2 million cases of tuberculosis, and provided 230 million bed nets to families at risk of contracting malaria. Between 2011 and 2013, the organization expects to distribute $10 billion in support of global health programs, an increase of $2 billion over the previous three-year period but still below projected demand. To meet that demand, the fund is working with its partners and advocacy organizations to raise an additional $2 billion by 2013.
"These are tough economic times, but that is no excuse for cutting aid to the world's poorest," said Gates Foundation co-chair Bill Gates. "The Global Fund is one of the most effective ways we invest our money every year....By supporting the Global Fund, we can help to change the fortunes of the poorest countries in the world. I can't think of more important work."