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The US$1.9 billion Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria is coming under fire for rushing its first round of awards, which were to be decided this week.

Some scientists and government officials charge that the fund — which was launched last July — was slow to issue clear guidelines for grant proposals. And interested parties were then given only two months to develop proposals for the first round of grants, worth up to US$400 million.

The fund has also not determined how it will evaluate the success of projects that it does support, despite requests from anxious donor governments that it does so.

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Reference: Nature 416, 773 (2002)