Bill Gates on Thursday announced that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will provide $750 million to the Global Fund which is currently fighting the worldwide spread of AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
The announcement arrived at the World Economic Forum and comes in the form of a promissory note which “gives the Global Fund the flexibility and authority to distribute funds efficiently based on immediate needs.”
In his statement Gates noted:
“By supporting the Global Fund, we can help to change the fortunes of the poorest countries in the world. I can’t think of more important work.”
By providing a promissory note with the funds Bill Gates says money can be made available immediately to
“Saves lives, whether it is bed nets (to protect against mosquitoes carrying malaria) or TB (tuberculosis) treatment, those are two diseases that don’t get perhaps the visibility of the work done in HIV but they are every bit as important.”
The money is a big donation to the fund and the second for Bill & Melinda Gates, through their foundation the Global Fund received $650 million 10 years ago.
The three-quarter of a billion dollar donation comes at a time when the funds executive director Dr. Michel Kazatchkine has announced he will step down after a controversy erupted regarding misuse of funds. Gates for his part downplayed the controversy by revealing that while it’s “pretty disappointing” he also acknowledges that “If you are going to do health programs in Africa, you are going to have some percentage that is misused.”
“The interest is saving lives,” Gates said, adding there were “all sorts of things that are going on that far overwhelm any amount of misdirection or whatever it was.”
Funds are available now to the Global Fund on an as needed basis.