Dec 09, 2009, 05.43 PM IST | Source: Reuters

Global Fund approves $279mn grants for India to fight aids

The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria said on Tuesday it has approved USD 279 million in new grants for India

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The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria said on Tuesday it has approved USD 279 million in new grants for India, taking total funds for the world's second-most populous country to more than USD 1.1 billion.

India is the fund's second-highest recipient for money to fight HIV behind Ethiopia. It has the world's third-highest incidence of HIV/AIDS, with around 2.5 million infections, after Nigeria and South Africa.

The fund channels its aid money through the Indian government and non-government organisations and has helped more than a quarter of a million Indians with antiretroviral drugs.

"In the next five years, we expect a massive reduction of incidence of TB and HIV," Taufiqur Rahman, the fund's team leader for South and West Asia, told reporters in New Delhi.

Since its launch by the G8 club of rich nations in 2002, the fund says it has given grants worth more than USD 18 billion to 144 countries, mainly in sub-Saharan Africa. The global financial crisis has threatened to shrink aid.

The fund raises money every three years and wants emerging powers such as China, India and Brazil to contribute more. Lobbying will start soon for its 2011-2013 funding cycle.

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