Geneva – The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria warmly welcomes President Jacques Chirac’s announcement of new, increased pledges by France to the Global Fund for 2006 and 2007. President Chirac announced Tuesday that France will significantly increase its contribution for 2006 compared to its 2005 level and to reach €300 million (US$ 376 million) for 2007. France has contributed €150 million (US$ 188 million) each year in 2004 and 2005.
“France has again confirmed its position as one of the Global Fund’s main supporters, and we are very grateful for this staunch and continuous support,” said Dr. Carol Jacobs, the Chair of the Global Fund’s Board. “Through its early announcement of an increase, which is in line with our increased resource needs for 2006 and 2007, France is setting a great example for other donors to follow.”
Following their first meeting in Stockholm in March, donors will meet at a second replenishment conference in Rome next week and at a final conference in London in September, hosted by the British government and chaired by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, to announce pledges for 2006 and 2007.
“The new contributions would secure France’s current 9 percent share of total contributions to the Global Fund if the needs of US$ 7.1 billion for the two-year period of 2006-2007 are fully met,” says Professor Michel Kazatchkine, the Vice-Chair of the Board. “It cements France’s position as the second largest donor overall to the Global Fund.”
In addition to its national pledge, France contributes to the Global Fund through the pledges of the European Commission.
“There are great expectations that the world’s richest nations will make commitments towards fighting poverty and disease when they meet at the G8 summit in July,” said Richard Feachem, the Executive Director of the Global Fund. “Through its pledge, France is leading the way of turning talk into action.”
In May 2001, France made one of the very first pledges to the Global Fund and has consistently led by example ever since, not only as a donor but as a political advocate on behalf of the Fund with European Heads of State and the European Commission.
At its June 2003 meeting in Evian, members of the G8 endorsed France’s invitation to host an international meeting to support the Global Fund. Over 250 donor and recipient government, business, foundation and civil society leaders from around the world participated in the meeting.
The Global Fund has so far committed US$ 3.5 billion to over 300 programs in 127 countries. Around 60 percent of this funding has gone to Africa, and 55 percent to fighting HIV/AIDS. Around half of the funding is being spent on medicines, mosquito nets to prevent malaria and other products, while the other half is for strengthening health services. While the average age of Global Fund grants is just under a year, already substantial results have been achieved, with 130,000 people having been supported with treatment for HIV/AIDS, 385,000 people having received TB treatment and more than a million families having received insecticide-treated bed nets to prevent malaria.