The new Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria has a lot of money to spend, and should announce its first grants this month (see our interview with the interim director last month). But in 2002 even these large sums are only 11% of the practical needs of established intervention programmes against the three diseases. The graphic below takes into account the fact that those practical needs could also grow rapidly, by 20% a year. For example, more and more people may be placed on antiretroviral therapy, all requiring drug supplies indefinitely. Assuming as a hypothesis that the Fund will never meet more than 11% of those practical needs, the white bars show the corresponding growing spending requirement from the Fund. The coloured bars show the present major donor commitments to the Fund. The gap is what has to be filled by new donations, and they are expected to follow only if the first funded programmes are well-managed. The figure is derived from the opening statements by the Director-General of WHO and the Executive Director of UNAIDS to the first Board Meeting of the Global Fund on 27 January 2002.
More detailed estimates of the practical needs of AIDS programmes can be found in Science, Vol. 292, Issue 5526, 2434-6, June 29, 2001.
Robert Walgate, Bulletin