Bill Gates pledges $750M to fight AIDS, TB and malaria at Davos


Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates has committed a further $750 million to a troubled global AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria fund, whose financial losses have lost it support from donors.

Speaking in Davos, Switzerland at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting, Gates called on governments to continue their support for saving lives, saying “these are tough economic times, but that is no excuse for cutting aid to the world’s poorest,” the Financial Times reported.

A 10-year-old public-private organisation, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria announced on Tuesday that its executive director, Michel Kazatchkine, would step down early due to criticism over “a grave misuse of funds” in four countries last year, which led to big donors like Germany halting their donations.

More from GlobalPost: Economic crisis blamed for Global Fund cuts to AIDS, TB, malaria grants

The fund says it saves 100,000 lives a month, but has been forced to cut back on grants and funding. Last year it announced that no further awards would be made until 2014.

Gabriel Jaramillo, a former banker, will take over from Kazatchkine when he leaves his post, according to the BBC.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will inject $750 million into the fund through a promissory note, adding to the $650 million that the charity has already contributed since the fund’s launch, Reuters reported.

More from GlobalPost: Euro woes dominate annual Davos conference in Swiss Alps

Gates told an audience at Davos, where more than 2,600 delegates, including international leaders, economists and business heads, are attending, that “the Global Fund is one of the most effective ways we invest our money each year.”

The Gates Foundation has given $26 billion in funding to health, development and education projects around the world.

Sign up for our daily newsletter

Sign up for The Top of the World, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning.