The Swiss firm, Winterthur Insurance, has become the first private firm to contribute to a new United Nations fund to combat AIDS. The company, owned by the Credit Suisse Group, said on Friday that it would donate $1 million (SFr1.8 million).
Peter Piot, executive director of UNAIDS, welcomed the donation. "We commend Winterthur for being the first private company to commit needed resources in the fight against HIV/AIDS to the global fund."
The UN secretary general, Kofi Annan, proposed the fund last April at an African summit on AIDS and other infectious diseases in Nigeria. The goal is to raise up to $10 billion.
A Winterthur spokeswoman said the firm planned a ceremony in early July to hand over the money. "The fight against AIDS, which has become an almost insoluble problem for the African countries in particular, is a problem we can all solve together," said Manfred Broska, Winterthur's chief executive.
The United States has announced a donation of $200 million, and France says it also intends to contribute.
Most of the money would go to fighting AIDS, but part of the funds would also be used against the killer diseases malaria and tuberculosis.
swissinfo with agencies
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