Hudghton (Greens/EFA) Draftsman of the opinion of the Committee on Budgets - Mr President, I would like to thank Mr Caudron, the general rapporteur, for his work on this very important report. It sets up a new fund for a new project, but it is designed to be tied together with the existing work which is already going on in the participating Member States and Norway as regards research into these diseases. The statistics are quite horrifying - 90% of the world's HIV virus carriers live in developing countries and 95% of TB sufferers are in developing countries. So clearly, a significant amount of work is required to be done to tackle these problems. The Committee on Budgets - without dissent - approved the proposed EUR 200 million contribution from the EU which, of course, is in addition to the EUR 60 million which the EU has pledged to the global health fund. The global health fund, of course, is not available for research. It is important that any new work - or the consolidation and coordination of existing work - in the field of research into these diseases must be focused upon the needs and conditions existing in developing countries. That is the idea behind the proposal. I am glad to see that Parliament, at various stages, has spelled out how this project could and should be managed and how the progress can and will - I hope - be reported. If we have to apply a total of EUR 600 million as this project envisages - EUR 200 million from the EU, EUR 200 million from existing Member State funds and, hopefully, EUR 200 million from other donors and industry - then it is important that it be spent wisely and successfully. I would hope that since a significant proportion of that is public funding - taxpayer's money - the ownership of new procedures can remain with the public sector and be made available cheaply to the people who really need it most.

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