Romania-Global Found to Fight Aids Tuberculosis and Malaria: Grant signing ceremony - Geneva, June 6, 2003

The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria signed, on 6 June 2003, a grant agreement worth US$ 48 million for the prevention and fight against AIDS and Tuberculosis in Romania. The grant signing ceremony took place during the fifth meeting of the Global Fund's Board in Geneva. On behalf of the Romania Government, the Agreement was signed by Dr. Daniela Bartos, Minister of Health and Family, and from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, by Prof. Richard Feachem, the Executive Director of the Global Fund. The ceremony took place in the presence of Mr. Tommy G. Thompson, the Secretary of Health and Human Services of USA..

Part of the grant is intended to increase access to DOTS - the internationally approved treatment strategy for TB - to 100 per cent coverage of the country in two years, provide training to more than 10,000 health professionals throughout the country, increase access to treatment for multi-drug resistant TB, and build a stronger network of civil society, health care and government partners for TB control.

As for the HIV/AIDS component of the grant, the objective is to enable the scale-up of prevention efforts in priority areas, strengthen treatment, care and support for people living with HIV/AIDS, particularly for vulnerable groups such as members of the Roma minority, TB patients and prisoners. A large part of this grant will be implemented with the support of non-governmental partners.

Romania is the first country to give a tax exemption for all goods and services purchased with Global Fund grant funding. The savings will result in an additional US$ 3 million going to the Romanian TB and HIV/AIDS control programs.

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