Global Fund seeks $18 billion to end HIV, TB and malaria

The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria on Wednesday sought to raise at least $18 billion at a donor conference led by US President Joe Biden, the decades of progress against the three diseases are set back by Covid.

It is the highest ever “replenishment” goal set by the organization, which brings together governments, multilateral agencies, civil society groups and the private sector.

Before the event, Global Fund spokeswoman Francoise Vanni told AFP she was encouraged by early pledges — including $6 billion from the United States, 1.3 billion euros from Germany and $1.08 billion from Japan — that had brought the fund “about halfway” to its target.

The amount is 30 percent more than that raised during the organization’s sixth and most recent replenishment, hosted by President Emmanuel Macron of France in 2019, which raised a then-record $14 billion.

World Health Organization head Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus highlighted how life expectancy in Japan was 84 years, while in Lesotho it was just 50 years.

“Thanks in large part to the Global Fund, these diseases kill half as many people now as they did 20 years ago. That’s quite a progress. However, those gains are at risk.”

Last year, the Global Fund warned that the pandemic was having a “devastating” impact on its work, leading to declining results across the board for the first time in the fund’s history.

For example, the number of people dying from TB rose for the first time in a decade in 2020, when it caused an estimated 1.5 million deaths, making it the world’s second-biggest infectious disease killer behind Covid.

Similarly, the number of people provided with HIV prevention services rose again after dropping in 2020, reaching 12.5 million people worldwide, the organization said. The fund provides nearly a third of all international financing to battle HIV.

But the Global Fund said a rapid scale-up of programs had allowed them to bounce back, with some 280 million suspected cases tested and 148 million cases treated last year.

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Originally published as Global Fund seeks $18 billion to end HIV, TB and malaria

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