African nations, private donors and high-income countries rally together to raise $US 13 billion for the Global Fund

20 September 2016

Nearly US$ 13 billion has been pledged to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, to accelerate the response to end these diseases over the next three years.

A woman standing in front of health centre in Zambia

National governments and private organisations have rallied together to pledge nearly US$ 13 billion to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (the Global Fund) at last week’s 5th Replenishment Conference, in Montreal, Canada.

The replenishment conference raised US$ 1 billion more than the previous conference held in 2013, and aims to save 8 million lives and avert 300 million new infections over the next three years.

Speaking from the conference, Bill Gates, Co-Chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation said: "The Global Fund is one of the most impactful investments a donor can make in global health,” he added, “the increased generosity pledged by long-standing and new donors is inspiring and will help ensure this unique partnership can continue its critical work to make the world better, safe and more equitable for all."

The USA led the way in money committed to the fund – pledging US$ 4.3 billion. The UK followed behind, pledging £1.1 billion (~US$ 1.43 billion). Mike Podmore, Director of STOPAIDS and Alternate Board member of the Developed Country NGO Delegation to the Global Fund Board, said: “Post-Brexit, this [£1.1 billion commitment] makes a bold statement that the UK will continue to be a global leader focused on supporting the poor and marginalized around the world.”

Other countries also scaled-up their commitment to the Global Fund. Germany increased its pledge by 33%, to €800 million (US$ 893 million); Japan increased its pledge to US$ 800 million, effectively a 46% increase when measured in Japanese yen.

African countries also notably stepped up their pledges to the Fund, in addition to the US$ 10.9 billion that they are already collectively spending on domestic disease prevention and treatment for 2015-2017. Togo and Côte d'Ivoire donated each US$ 1 million, while Kenya pledged $US 5million - other countries contributing include Benin, Namibia, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, and Zimbabwe.

President Macky Sall of Senegal said: "In an interconnected and interdependent world, diseases know no borders." He added: "New impetus is needed to continue support to the countries affected by diseases. These countries should also invest more in the health sector so we can end these diseases for good."

The private sector more than doubled their donations to the Global Fund, pledging US$ 250 million for the coming three years. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation have donated US$ 600 million.

Since the Global Fund was set up in 2002, it has saved over 20 million lives through innovative partnerships with community based organisations around the world and has played a vital role in the prevention and treatment of HIV, tuberculosis and malaria.

"We have the knowledge and tools to end HIV, TB and malaria as epidemics by 2030, but we need to invest smartly and with focus to make it happen," said Mark Dybul, Executive Director of the Global Fund. "When we work together, we can achieve more than anyone dreamed possible."

Photo credit:
©Gemma Taylor