Officials at the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria are contemplating a move to start loaning money to developing countries that grow too wealthy to qualify for grants, Reuters reports (, 5/4).

On May 4, Michel Kazatchkine, the fund’s director, said that offering loans would allow the fund to help governments where rates of HIV, tuberculosis and malaria infections are high and wealth is growing.

“To us it’s important that when the world’s money for aid is being distributed it not only takes into account economic factors but also, for example, burden of disease,” said Kazatchkine.

By the end of 2009, 10 countries in Eastern Europe and Central Asia will no longer qualify for Global Fund grants because they will be considered upper-income countries. However, many of these countries still need assistance in tackling AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, Reuters reports.