12 November 2009The United Nations-backed Global Fund today announced that it has approved new grants worth $2.4 billion to projects aimed at fighting AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria in low-income countries over the next two years. The United Nations-backed Global Fund today announced that it has approved new grants worth $2.4 billion to projects aimed at fighting AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria in low-income countries over the next two years.This latest round of grants bring the Global Fund’s overall commitment to combating the three diseases – which estimates say kill over 4 million people each year – to more than $18.4 billion for 144 countries since it was created in 2002. “These grants enable countries around the world to address some of the main problems they are struggling with every day,” said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Chair of the Global Fund Board of Directors.“These grants are based on the countries’ own needs and priorities and they are therefore a particularly effective source of financing,” added Dr. Ghebreyesus.The Fund also approved the roll-out of a $216 million pilot scheme to reduce prices for effective malaria medicines for nine African countries and Cambodia. The initiative has been funded with contributions from UNITAID, the United Kingdom and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.“We are seeing a tremendous demand for funding,” said Global Fund Executive Director Michel Kazatchkine. “Countries are showing that they are able to effectively turn large amounts of money from donors into prevention, care and treatment of AIDS, TB and malaria, which in turn will save millions of lives,” added Mr. Kazatchkine.Yet, he warned that without a significant boost in contributions to the Global Fund from donor countries, “we may not be able to continue approving such amounts of financing and see continued progress in health in the coming years.”The Fund’s Board also decided to reform its financing process from a grant-by-grant model to continuous funding streams for countries which will now have to manage the grants, resulting in a more simplified reporting system and allowing more long-term planning for individual countries.