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Nov. 23 (Bloomberg) -- A $22 billion fund to fight the world’s three deadliest infectious diseases canceled its next round of grants because of declining donations, according to Doctors Without Borders.
The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria’s board made the decision at a meeting in Accra, Ghana, yesterday, Doctors Without Borders said in a statement. The Global Fund, based in Geneva, will provide “transitional funding” to pay for treatment for patients already receiving AIDS drugs in poor countries, and won’t pay for new patients to get the medicines, Doctors Without Borders said.
“The fund is in the most dire financial situation it has ever seen since its creation 10 years ago,” Doctors Without Borders, also known as Medecins Sans Frontieres, said in the statement. “Donors are really pulling the rug out from under people living with HIV/AIDS at precisely the time when we need to move full steam ahead and get life-saving treatment to more people.”
Andrew Hurst, a spokesman for the Geneva-based fund, declined to comment and said the organization will make a statement later today.
The Global Fund has spent more than $13 billion since it was established in 2002 to fight the biggest infectious killers, and has committed to spending about $9 billion more. It’s backed by governments, charities including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and corporate donors including Chevron Corp.
A review of the fund published in September said that it faces “accelerating deterioration” in its finances for the next three years, as economic distress in donor nations, combined with corruption in some of the poor ones it helps, “imperil the sustainability” of the organization.
--Editors: Kristen Hallam, Robert Valpuesta
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