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Nations and Groups Promise $12 Billion to Fight AIDS, TB & Malaria

I'm Alex Villarreal with the VOA Special English Development Report, from http://voaspecialenglish.com | http://facebook.com/voalearningenglish International donors have promised almost twelve billion dollars to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.The Global Fund held a two-day conference in October in New York City. This is the largest pledge the eight-year-old organization has ever received. Stefan Emblad is the director of resource mobilization. He said the fund received a twenty percent increase in contributions.Still, the pledges were a billion dollars below the lowest estimate of the amount needed to fight the diseases effectively. In March, the Global Fund proposed three different plans, from thirteen to twenty billion dollars. The Global Fund is a partnership of public and private organizations. This fund has become the main source of money for programs to treat and prevent AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. Donations support programs in more than one hundred forty countries. Nearly three million people are receiving treatment for the AIDS virus through Global Fund programs. One hundred forty-three million people receive malaria drugs. And seven million new cases of TB have been diagnosed and treated since the fund began in two thousand two. Global Fund officials estimate that their programs have saved more than five million lives. Stefan Emblad says these efforts will continue. He said the organization will not be cutting funding to any of the existing programs. Those programs will continue over the next few years to put more people on treatment and to have more prevention and care efforts. But they will not be at the same level as in the last two years.Mr. Emblad says some of the Millennium Development Goals are still reachable with this new level of funding. He said: "We could eliminate malaria as a public health threat in malaria-endemic countries. We could also eliminate the transmission of HIV from pregnant mothers to their unborn babies." He said these goals could be met by twenty fifteen if countries see them as most important. More than forty donor countries, organizations and businesses attended the conference in New York. The United States promised to give four billion dollars over the next three years, the largest donor pledge ever. The United States was the first donor to the fund and remains the largest. France is second, followed by Japan, Britain and Canada among the top five. For VOA Special English I'm Alex Villarreal. (Adapted from a radio program broadcast 11Oct2010)
Length: 03:59

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