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WHO welcomes launch of UNITAID

19 September 2006

The World Health Organization (WHO) welcomes the official launch of UNITAID, the International Drug Purchase Facility being established by Brazil, France, Chile, Norway and the United Kingdom. UNITAID is being established as an innovative funding mechanism to accelerate access to high-quality drugs and diagnostics for HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis in countries with a high burden of disease.

WHO shares the key public health objectives of UNITAID as it seeks to assist developing countries in purchasing the medicines needed to scale up HIV, TB and malaria control programmes.

These three diseases make up a large part of the disease burden affecting developing countries and economies in transition, and have a disproportionate impact on poor populations.

UNITAID will work with existing institutions and mechanisms to deliver drugs purchased by it. These include WHO, UNICEF, the Global Fund to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, and the Clinton HIV/AIDS Initiative.

WHO is pleased to be the hosting institution for the UNITAID secretariat and its Trust Fund, as well as providing strategic and technical advice to UNITAID and to countries and partners benefiting from UNITAID support.

For more information, please contact:

Iain Simpson
Communications officer
Director-General's Office
Telephone: +41 79 475 5534