A new Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis (TB) and Malaria, first championed by Secretary-General Kofi Annan, today awarded $378 million to programmes to prevent and treat the three diseases in severely affected countries.The grants, which cover 40 programmes in 31 countries, support a wide range of prevention and treatment programmes over a two-year period, including the provision of antiretroviral treatments for people living with HIV/AIDS in 21 nations.The Board also agreed to fast-track an additional $238 million for 18 proposals in 12 countries, plus three multi-country proposals, provided certain conditions are met. This would bring the total funding over two years to $616 million. Funding after the second year will be approved based on performance. The announcement came at the end of a three-day meeting of the Fund’s Board held at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University in New York. Board members hailed the progress achieved during that session and urged further efforts to combat the three diseases.”Less than three months after the Global Fund issued its first call for proposals, it is directing funds where they are needed to help fight AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria,” said Dr. Chrispus Kiyonga, chair of the Global Fund’s Board and Minister without Portfolio of the Government of Uganda. “The Global Fund’s grants will provide critical support to effective prevention and treatment programs around the world.”Philippa Lawson of the Academy for Educational Development, who sits on the Board representing people living with or affected by one of the three diseases, recalled that the Secretary-General has called for $7-10 billion each year to combat HIV/AIDS alone. While lauding the fact that the Global Fund has raised more than $2 billion in less than a year, Mr. Lawson said, “the Fund needs far more resources to fight AIDS, TB, and malaria – millions of lives are at stake.”Fund officials also announced the appointment of Professor Richard Feachem as Executive Director of the Global Fund. Dr. Feachem, a British national, is currently Founding Director of the Institute for Global Health, and Professor of International Health at the University of California, San Francisco and Berkeley. He also worked as Director for Health, Nutrition and Population at the World Bank and served as Dean of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in London. UN agencies sit on the Global Fund’s Board as non-voting members, and provide technical assistance to interested States in preparing grant proposals.