After decades of progress against the diseases were disrupted by the COVID-19 epidemic, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria obtained $14.25 billion in vital additional funding.
As per Al Jazeera, President Joe Biden of the United States, who hosted the conference in New York City alongside the annual high-level meeting of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), stated that the funding — the largest amount ever pledged to a multilateral health organization — is essential to combating the diseases.
Biden stated, “This investment will save an additional 20 million lives and cut death from these diseases by 64 percent over the next four years.” The fund, a public-private collaboration established in 2002, is seeking $18 billion from governments, civic society, and the corporate sector for its next three-year funding cycle. Before Wednesday’s conference, more than a third of the sum had already been raised.
Peter Sands, executive director of the Global Fund, described the mobilization of resources for global health as unprecedented. Biden exhorted, “Thank you all for stepping up, especially in a hard global economic context, and I urge you to keep it up.”
The Global Fund stated that the $14.25 billion sum would likely climb when additional contributions are received. The United Kingdom and Italy have stated that their pledges will be made public at a later date. Lazarus Chakwera, president of Malawi, stated earlier in the day, after donating $1 million, “For the government and people of Malawi, this is not a conference but a lifesaver.”
According to UNAIDS, in 2021, there were 990,000 adults and children living with HIV in Malawi, and according to USAID, tuberculosis is a “serious public health issue in Malawi.” The United States has pledged the most among contributors at $6 billion.
France, Germany, Japan, Canada, the European Union, and the Gates Foundation have also made substantial pledges.
“We can cure TB. We can prevent malaria. We can combat these dreadful diseases. “We will eradicate AIDS, TB, and malaria once and for all,” declared European Commission leader Ursula von der Leyen after announcing the bloc’s most recent donation.
South Korea increased its 2019 contribution to $100 million, while Indonesia pledged $10 million for the first time.
Dr. Sarthak Das, chief executive officer of the Asia Pacific Leaders Malaria Alliance, an organization that brings together the leaders of 22 countries in the region to combat malaria, stated that the promises demonstrated that Asia Pacific governments were fighting “for what matters.”
“This is not just a historic display of global unity, but also a heartening and much-needed boost to global health equity,” he added in a statement.
The fund raised a then-record $14 billion at its final donor conference in 2019, which French President Emmanuel Macron hosted. There was some criticism of the government’s choice to delay its announcement in the United Kingdom.
David Lammy, the shadow foreign secretary, wrote on Twitter that it would “delay the fight against AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria and harm the UK’s national interest.” Camille Spire, the president of the French non-profit AIDES, told the AFP news agency that even after the United Kingdom and Italy made their commitments, the overall amount would likely not reach the original goal.
“While some are counting their pennies, others are counting the dead,” she said, adding that she was “mad” and that the result would be fewer screening campaigns, fewer treatments, less money for community health centers, and less strengthening of health systems than had been envisaged. The fund says that it has saved over 50 million lives by reducing the death toll from AIDS, TB, and malaria by fifty percent during the past two decades.
The Global Fund provides 30% of all international money for HIV-related programs, 76% of funding for tuberculosis, and 63% of funding for malaria. Under US law, the country cannot provide more than a third of the funding for the Global Fund; this limit is intended to encourage other nations to double the US contribution.