Donors pledge $10 billion to Global Fund
(Reuters) Donor countries promised nearly $10 billion (5 billion pounds) to the Global Fund to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria over the next three years at a meeting on Thursday.
Campaigners said the pledges were welcome but fell short of the long-term needs of the multilateral Fund, which provides resources for projects to fight the three diseases it says claim 6 million lives a year.
Former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said the total amount pledged for 2008-2010 was $9.7 billion.
"This is a good day for global health, for millions of poor people who are affected by these three diseases," Annan told a news conference.
He said the total included "conservative" projections from the United States, Canada and Japan, prevented from making commitments for more than one year due to budgetary processes.
"These countries have indicated they will increase their contributions," Annan said.
He added that another meeting, to make up the gap to the $12-18 billion needed, would take place in early 2009.
"Donor support for the Global Fund's needs in 2008 looks promising," said Oliver Buston , European Director of DATA (Debt AIDS Trade Africa)