The executive director of the Global Fund said that a major international fund to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria needs four billion dollars to cover its budget needs until 2010.
"In 2010 the Global Fund will be facing a gap which we estimate to be around four billion dollars," Michel Kazatchkine told reporters in Madrid ahead of the fund's mid-term review meeting which gets underway March 31 in Spain.
The two-day meeting in the eastern city of Caceres, which will be hosted by the Spanish government, will review the performance of the Geneva-based fund and consider additional funding needs for the organization.
Kazatchkine said he hoped the meeting would lead existing donors to boost their contributions to the Global Fund and the emergence of new donors, despite the global financial crisis which he said increased the need for funds.
"The governments of the developing countries will be in deeper trouble to fund their health programs, so that means that paradoxically the crisis is one more reason to increase the aid to the development," he said.
Since its creation in 2002, the fund has become the dominant source of money for worldwide programs against the three scourges that kill more than six million people a year, mostly in poor countries.
As of the end of 2008, the fund estimates the programs it has supported have averted more than 3.5 million deaths by providing AIDS treatment for two million people, anti-tuberculosis treatment for 4.6 million people and 70 million insecticide-treated bed nets for the prevention of malaria worldwide.
The Global Fund has so far approved funding in 140 countries worth 15 billion dollars (11.6 billion euros).
The United States is the Global Fund's largest single donor, although European Union member states together contribute more than half of its resources with France being the second largest donor overall.
The Global Fund received contributions from a total of 50 donor countries to date, in addition to a number of private foundations, corporations and individuals.