LONDON — Between them, AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria kill an astonishing six million people a year. So there's an understandable sense of anticipation over whether this death toll can be reduced with the help of a new organisation set up to fight all three diseases.

The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, officially set up last year, has just issued its first call for funding proposals as part of a world-wide initiative to tackle the morbidity and mortality caused by these conditions. So far, it has received funding pledges totalling US$1.9 billion. This includes an additional $200 million promised last week by President George W. Bush, which came on top of the earlier US pledge of $200 million.

With up to $700 million available for this year, the fund hopes to get the fight under way with a range of research projects geared towards the prevention and...

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