19/06/2001
Press Release
SG/SM/7851
AIDS/21



SECRETARY-GENERAL WELCOMES GATES FOUNDATION CONTRIBUTION TO GLOBAL AIDS FUND


The following statement was issued today by the Office of the Spokesman for Secretary-General Kofi Annan:


The Secretary-General is delighted to welcome the $100-million contribution of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to the Global AIDS and Health Fund.  This groundbreaking commitment is the largest private contribution to the Fund so far. It will form a cornerstone of the emerging global effort to reverse the HIV/AIDS pandemic.


HIV/AIDS is a global crisis that has already killed nearly 22 million people, including more than 4 million children.  It is unique in its social, demographic and economic devastation.  We are not powerless against this disease  -- but our response so far is still only a fraction of what it needs to be.


It is only through a truly global partnership, bringing together governments, corporations, foundations, civil society and individuals, that we can hope to pool the leadership and raise the resources needed to defeat this scourge.  The leadership shown by Bill and Melinda Gates today will not only serve as a powerful example to other private donors and to governments; in its own right, it will probably also save millions of lives.


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