Fund Halts New Grants to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, Malaria

Posted November 24th, 2011 at 11:00 am (UTC-5)
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The world's largest financier of programs to combat three deadly diseases says it will make no new grants for the next two years because of the global economic downturn.

The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria says it will focus only on essential services for programs that end before 2014.

In a new strategy adopted Wednesday, the fund's board requested donors to increase and accelerate funding to fight the three diseases.

The head of the fund, Michael Kazatchkine, said it is worrisome that “inadvertently” millions of people stricken with AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria are affected by the global financial crisis.

The halt in funding is expected to serve as a setback for people getting treated for the diseases in developing countries.

Earlier this year, the United Nations announced a goal to end AIDS-related deaths around the world, especially in nations in sub-Saharan Africa.

In 2009, some 370,000 babies were born with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. Nearly all of them were born in sub-Saharan Africa. The U.N. wants to reduce that number by 90 percent in the next four years.