DURBIN/SANTORUM MEASURE TO INCREASE U.S. CONTRIBUTION TO GLOBAL FUND TO FIGHT AIDS WINS SENATE APPROVAL
U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Rick Santorum (R-PA) today applauded the passage of their amendment to increase the United States' contribution to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria to $866 million in fiscal year 2007.
"The Global Fund must increase in the face of an expanding global epidemic. This is not a partisan or political issue; it is a moral issue. Millions of lives are hanging in the balance," Senator Durbin said. "This U.S. contribution sends a clear signal to other nations that they must step up."
"I am pleased that my Senate colleagues joined Senator Durbin and I today to adopt this amendment," said Senator Santorum. "It is essential that the U.S. contribution to the Global Fund be increased so that we can continue to provide life-saving and life-sustaining assistance to people infected with HIV/AIDS and other diseases in the poorest areas of the world."
The Global Fund works in 130 countries and it addresses TB and malaria, in addition to HIV/AIDS. The requirement that each U.S. dollar be matched by two dollars from other donors is a critical mechanism to leverage contributions from other nations to the global fight against AIDS, TB, and malaria. The Global Fund estimates that it will need $1.6 billion to renew current proven grants and an additional $1 billion to fund a new round of grants to meet the growing need.
Tom Hart, Deputy Executive Director of DATA, said: "We congratulate and thank Senator Santorum and Senator Durbin for winning this amendment. While they lead opposing political parties, they are leaders together in the fight against global HIV/AIDS and other diseases in the poorest parts of the world. We and the thousands of Americans who supported them through the ONE campaign are looking for the same courageous effort in the House of Representatives. Support for the Global Fund translates into lives saved. This amendment would allow that to continue and grow."
"This is a splendid triumph for a lot of sick people who are going to be kept alive as a result of the passage of this amendment," said Jack Valenti, President of Friends of the Global Fight against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
On average, every $100 million contribution to the Global Fund will generate the following results:
# The Fund can provide 630,000 bed nets to fight malaria, and
# It can deliver 150,000 treatments for malaria, and,
# It can provide 80,000 highly-effective DOTS treatments for TB, and
# It can supply 370,000 people with HIV tests, and
# It can provide 11,000 people with life-saving AIDS treatment.
Roughly 34 million people have died from HIV/AIDS since the start of the epidemic and an estimated 70 million have been infected. Every 60 seconds, there are 5 more deaths from AIDS and 9 more infections. Over the next decade, an estimated 50 million more people will contract HIV.