16 July 2009The United Nations-backed Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria has signed a grant agreement with Togo worth $20 million over two years, the first part of a five-year grant that will allow the country to scale-up treatment and care for people living with HIV. The United Nations-backed Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria has signed a grant agreement with Togo worth $20 million over two years, the first part of a five-year grant that will allow the country to scale-up treatment and care for people living with HIV. “This agreement reflects Togo’s determination to continue its fight against the AIDS epidemic,” said Michel Kazatchkine, Executive Director of the Global Fund, who travelled to Lomé to sign the agreement. There are 130,000 people living with HIV/AIDS in Togo, which has a population of 6 million, according to a news release issued by the Fund. Portions of the new grant will help to reduce the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases and HIV among vulnerable populations, including through the use of communication campaigns, counselling and testing and the implementation of reproductive health care services.While the country had received resources from the Fund twice before, subsequent requests for funding were not successful. As a result, the Fund had put in place a continuation of services agreement to allow those under antiretroviral treatment to continue receiving their medication.Mr. Kazatchkine said Togo’s success in obtaining the new funding is “a wonderful example of what can be achieved when a country and its local and international partners come together with a common goal.“We are all proud of the success of Togo’s HIV proposal and the fact that, in this funding round, Togo’s grant negotiations were among the first to be concluded,” he added.The Global Fund is designed to attract, manage and disburse resources to fight AIDS, TB and malaria. Since its creation in 2002, it has approved $16 billion worth of funding in 140 countries.