U.S. pledges $4 billion for Global Fund to fight AIDS and other diseases

Tuesday, October 5, 2010; 11:02 PM

The Obama administration announced Tuesday that it will seek $4 billion for the Global Fund to Fight HIV/AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis over the next three years, and it indicated that more funds might become available if the program is reformed.

The contribution from the United States, the fund's biggest donor, would mark a 38 percent increase over what Washington provided in the last three-year period, officials said.

The American pledge could grow if the Global Fund and participating countries improve their management of grants, work to avoid duplication of efforts, improve accountability and monitoring, and take other steps, U.S. officials said.

The new money would need the approval of Congress.

Paul Zeitz, executive director of the Global AIDS Alliance, said the pledge was a "course correction" for the Obama administration, which had previously proposed decreasing its contribution from $1.05 billion in 2010 to $1 billion in 2011.

"But the pledge itself is small-minded. It is insufficient based on projected needs and fails to leverage the commitments of other nations," Zeitz said in a statement.

The State Department called the contribution "a substantial increase, especially in light of the overall budget challenges" confronting the U.S. government.

- Mary Beth Sheridan

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