• Following commitments
made at the Okinawa
summit of G8 countries in July 2000 and a subsequent health experts
meeting in December 2000 in Okinawa, work began in earnest to improve
prospects for confronting HIV/AIDS and infectious diseases in four countries.
This led to work on new financial mechanisms for increasing the flow
of resources to developing countries. Consensus gradually emerged that
a single fund—with an initial focus on HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria—would
be the best starting point.
• Such a fund promises
to help leverage additional political engagement and financial commitment,
ease the procurement of commodities and draw new partners into struggles
to bring the diseases under control.
• The efforts to
create the fund received a huge boost when UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan
called for the establishment of a global fund on AIDS and health at the
Organization of African Unity summit in Abuja in April 2001.
later, in early June 2001, representatives from more than 50 countries,
multilateral and non-governmental organizations, private foundations and
other stakeholders met for the first major consultation on the fund.
• The meeting achieved
a high degree of consensus that the new fund would focus on ssHIV/AIDS,
tuberculosis and malaria, would promote an integrated approach to the
three diseases, and would be geared at strengthening and expanding existing
development processes rather than designing new projects.
• It is planned
that the fund will be up and running by the end of 2001. It will be open
for contributions from governments, foundations, the private sector and
• Initial contributions,
totalling over US$400 million, have been pledged by France, the United
Kingdom and the United States, as well as by Credit Suisse, the International
Olympic Committee and the Secretary-General himself, who donated the proceeds
of the Philadelphia Liberty Medal he will be awarded in July. Other firm
commitments of serious money are expected at the UN Special Session on
HIV/AIDS and at the G8 summit in July 2001.
• As an innovative
partnership between developing countries, donors and the multilateral
system, the fund will have an independent governing body. Arrangements
for the secretariat, technical advice and membership of the governing
body will be decided during the next three months.
• The fund is intended
to serve as a means for mobilizing, managing and disbursing new and additional
resources. Exact financial targets for the fund have not been fixed. There
is agreement,though, that it will not replace existing channels for financing
programmes aimed against HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. Nor is it
intended to supplant developing countries’ own investments to control
• In early discussions
there has been agreement that the fund would be underpinned by a set of
principles—including the need to achieve better coordination in efforts
to confront diseases, to improve the transparency and flexibility of those
efforts, and to support national-level decision-making and leadership.
Equally important is the opportunity to decrease the work required of
national governments when dealing with a range of donors, to achieve more
equitable allocation of resources and to enable a clearer focus on results.