The Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria, an international financing institution, has cancelled its eleventh round of fund-raising, owing to the current economic crises across the world. Furthermore, an Associated Press report suggests that the financier has run out of money needed to pay for new grants to run till 2014.
The announcement, made by the organization on Thursday, will hit several charities that work with the HIV problem and depend heavily on The Global Fund for money. China and South Sudan, it is believed, will be among the disease-inflicted nations most affected by the funding cut.
Fund officials have revealed that they asked international donors for $20 billion but received only a little more than half of that, missing, in the process, their baseline target of $13 billion. It is possible that the volume of donations has been hit by dwindling returns from low interest rates. Moreover, many of the countries who normally contribute are facing budget challenges and simply can't contribute.
These should be exciting times - the latest scientific developments are showing us that treatment can have a powerful HIV prevention effect, said Alvaro Bermejo, the fund's Director, cautioning against a simiar situation (the lack of funds to address a growing medial concern) ever happening.
The cutback on funds has also been attributed to accusations on allegations of the fund's fraudulent use and mismanagement of grant money in recent years. Traditional donors, including Germany and Sweden, reportedly withheld their funds temporarily.
As of Nov. 23, a statement on The Global Fund's Web site confirmed the release of 100 million Euros from the German government.
As a result, The Global Fund has adopted measures to finance only existing programs as well as limited funding for larger-scale programs in some middle-income countries. It has also called on other governments to contribute, as well as announcing plans to revamp management practices and improve the efficiency of the organization.
It is deeply worrisome that inadvertently, the millions of people fighting with deadly diseases are in danger of paying the price for the global financial crisis, said Michel Kazatchkine, the fund's Executive Director.
The Geneva-based fund was set up in 2002 and supported by around 150 donor countries. It works in collaboration with other organizations to promote treatment and large scale prevention programs against three chosen diseases.