African bank provides free expertise to UN-backed fund combating deadly diseases

26 January 2009 – A major African bank today signed an agreement with the United Nations-backed Global Fund offering pro bono support to countries receiving grants meant to combat the spread of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria in the continent.

Under the agreement, the Standard Bank – Africa’s largest banking group in terms of assets, geographic spread and market capitalization – will provide financial and management expertise to assist with prompt fund distribution and reporting requirements.

“I am extremely pleased that Standard Bank has signed a partnership agreement with the Global Fund offering their expertise to improve grant efficiency and effectiveness where needed,” said Executive Director of the Global Fund Michel Kazatchkine.

“It shows that the corporate sector in Africa is ready to play a constructive role in the fight against AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria,” he added.

Highlighting the partnership with the Global Fund as an example of how corporate know-how can make a difference to health and development around the world, the Executive Director of the Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria, John Tedstrom, said, “By deploying its experts in financial management to support programme implementers, Standard Bank will dramatically increase the effectiveness of the money invested by the Global Fund.”

The private sector has provided support to the Global Fund since it was established in 2001 with help in the governance of the Fund, donating cash and non-cash resources and collaborating with in-country partners and recipients.

The Fund received some $180 million in 2008 from the private sector, including contributions from Chevron, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and (PRODUCT) RED and its partners, among others.

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