News of Note: Gates Foundation gives $750 million to Global Fund
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation gave $750 million Thursday to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria to help assure that the organization can keep supplying AIDS drugs while it seeks to adjust to the economic downturn.
The Global Fund, which has disbursed $15.1 billion to low-income countries over the past decade, said in November that it would not award any new grants until 2014. Nearly all of the fund’s money comes from governments in the industrialized world, many of which were unwilling to increase their donations or, in a few cases, fulfill previous pledges.
The fear has been that some AIDS programs in Africa might run out of money, forcing patients to stop taking the antiretroviral drugs that are keeping them alive. While such dire events were never likely, they are even less likely now.
Seven hundred and fifty million dollars? That is a profound amount of money, thank you Bill Gates! Now I’m curious how much of this money will make it into the right hands as well as how much will contribute to finding a cure for HIV. The Global Fund has raised nearly 30 billion in pledges from developed nations since 2002. That is a tremendous amount of money floating around, and a significant portion of that is being spent on treatment. I just hope that no one involved in the distribution of this wealth sees treating HIV/AIDS as more profitable than finding a cure. Never the less, I applaud anyone who donates $750 million to relieve human suffering.
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