22 September 2022
Pacific Friends of Global Health welcomes Australia’s commitment of AU$266 million over three years to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria at its pledging meeting held in New York overnight and hosted by President Biden.
It is a welcome contribution to help restore momentum in the fight against AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, and strengthen health systems to ensure access for some of the world’s most disadvantaged communities.
Australia’s commitment is a 10 percent increase on its 2019 contribution and comes after the global response to the three diseases was disrupted by the COVID pandemic.
The Global Fund invests US$4 billion a year to defeat HIV, TB and malaria and support health systems. A report released last week showed Global Fund investments have saved 50 million lives over the past two decades. In 2021, 23.3 million people received lifesaving antiretroviral therapy for HIV, 5.3 million people were treated for TB, 148 million cases of malaria were treated, and 133 million mosquito nets were distributed.
Those results came despite significant disruption due to COVID. Since March 2020, the Global Fund has also played a key role in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. It has invested more than US$4.4 billion to fight the pandemic and to mitigate its impact on HIV, TB and malaria. Using the established expertise the Fund has in procurement and distribution in critical areas like oxygen this funding enabled countries to rapidly adapt existing programs, purchase personal protective equipment, diagnostics, treatments and medical supplies and saved many more lives.
Pacific Friends of Global Health chair, Professor Brendan Crabb, welcomed Australia’s expanded contribution.
“COVID has put a serious dent in the world’s progress against AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. Australia’s investment in the Global Fund is welcome and will foster progress in our region.
“For every US dollar Australia has invested in the Global Fund the Fund has invested approximately 13 dollars in our region. This is a compelling return that lightens the burden of disease and strengthens health systems. Due to the Global Fund, more people in our region have access to life saving medicines and tools like mosquito nets. There are more health workers testing for infection and administering treatment.”
Nations including the United States, Japan, Canada and Germany responded to the Fund’s call for increased funding at the replenishment and increased their commitments by 30 per cent.
“Whilst we acknowledge the challenging fiscal environment we currently find ourselves in, we know that prolonging these pandemics will only cost us more in the long run – in dollars, but most importantly in lives”, said Professor Crabb.
“By making greater investment in the Global Fund now, we can help restore the gains made and progress the commitment to end HIV, TB and malaria, while strengthening health systems to ensure countries are better prepared to prevent and respond to future pandemics.
“We will continue to make the case to the Australian Government to robustly support the Global Fund.”
The replenishment has raised $US14.25 billion with pledges still to come from Italy and the UK.
Contact: Nick Lucchinelli 0422 229 032