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At least 30 donor nations and groups are meeting in The Hague, Netherlands, to review the progress made on the Millennium Development Goals on health.

An international funding organisation, the Global Fund, which disclosed this in a statement by its Communication Officer, Marcella Rojo, on Thursday, said the meeting began on Wednesday.

The world body explained that the meeting was essential because the deadline for the MDGs was less than five years away. Two of the MDGS- 4 and five- are related to health. The MDG four is aimed at reducing by two-thirds, between 1990 and 2015, the under-five mortality rate. The MDG five is targeted at reducing, by three-quarters, between 1990 and 2015, the maternal mortality ratio.

Apart from reviewing global heath progress, the meeting is assessing funding needs for achieving the goals between 2011 and 2013.

It said, 'Hosted by the government of the Netherlands, this is a preparatory meeting ahead of a pledging conference for the Global Fund at the UN Headquarters, 4-5 October, which will be chaired by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

'The preparatory meeting in The Hague is being attended by delegates from 27 countries and the United Nations Foundation and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.'

The Executive Director of the fund, Prof. Michel Kazatchkine, said, 'We have made such extraordinary progress that a world without malaria deaths and a world without any babies being born with AIDS is now within our reach by 2015.

'The financing allocated in 2010 will determine whether we can finally reach that promise. We must not let that hope turn into despair'

According to GF, 'Donors will discuss the results achieved by the Global Fund and projections of the costs for funding its share of the response to the three global pandemics (HIV, malaria and tuberculosis) for the period 2011-2013.'