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Gates Foundation Agrees to Give $750 Million to Global Fund

Microsoft Corp. Chairman Bill Gates
Microsoft Corp. Chairman Bill Gates stands for a photograph at The Global Fund photocall in the Congress Center during day two of the World Economic Forum in Davos. Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

Jan. 26 (Bloomberg) -- The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the world’s richest charity, will give $750 million over six years to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria after some government donations declined or stopped.

The foundation will make the contribution for 2011 to 2016 in the form of a promissory note, which is a legally binding agreement for future payment, the Geneva-based Global Fund said in a statement. That will give it flexibility to make grants for life-saving programs in the world’s poorest countries, the fund said.

The Seattle-based foundation’s commitment brings its total donation to $1.4 billion since the Global Fund was founded in 2002 to combat the world’s three biggest infectious killers. The fund said in November it will make no new grants for the next two years because of a decline in contributions from donor governments.

“These are tough economic times, but that is no excuse for cutting aid to the world’s poorest,” Bill Gates, co-chairman of the foundation, said in a separate statement today. “The Global Fund is one of the most effective ways we invest our money every year.”

The European Commission, Germany, Denmark and Sweden were among governments that froze payments to the fund last year after reports that some of its grants had been misappropriated.

A committee led by former U.S. Health Secretary Michael Leavitt found in September that the organization lacked sufficient safeguards to prevent fraud. The fund said this week that its executive director of five years, Michel Kazatchkine, would quit and Gabriel Jaramillo, a member of the Leavitt committee, would be appointed in the new role of general manager to “ensure the institution manages donor resources as efficiently and safely as possible.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Simeon Bennett in Geneva at sbennett9@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Phil Serafino at pserafino@bloomberg.net

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