The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria has approved sizeable grants supporting programmes that are fighting the three diseases.

The total two-year value of the programmes recommended for funding is $2.4 billion and follows a $2.75 billion commitment in 2008. The Global Fund has now approved financial backing of $18.4 billion for 144 countries since it was created in 2002.

The public/private partnership has also approved the roll-out of the pilot phase of a facility to reduce prices for effective malaria medicines. It will take place in nine African countries and Cambodia and be funded through $216 million in funding from UNITAID, the UK government and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. It aims to provide access to effective artemisinin combination treatments for malaria and reducing the use of old, ineffective medicines.

Michel Kazatchkine, executive director of the Global Fund, said “we are seeing a tremendous demand for funding”. He added that 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”, but warned that “we may not be able to continue approving such amounts of financing…unless donor countries scale up their funding even further”.