The executive director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria said Wednesday he was concerned about the impact of the economic crisis would have on efforts to combat the diseases.
"I'm afraid of the impact the financial crisis will have, first of all on the rich countries which will find it difficult to provide resources but also the impact on poor countries as the crisis will touch them too," said Michel Kazatchkine.
"I am very concerned," he added.
Kazatchkine was accompanying French first lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, who was making her first trip as a goodwill ambassador for the Global Fund to the west African nation of Burkina Faso.
Based in Geneva, the Global Fund oversees hundreds of programmes in 136 countries through public-private partnerships that have raised more than 11 billion dollars (8.5 billion euros).
Kazatchkine said the Global Fund was already facing a shortfall of five million dollars for its 2008-2010 programmes.