Photo: The Global Fund

Long-term health security

The potential benefits to the region of the improved health outcomes the Global Fund delivers are huge. TB mainly impacts those in the most economically-productive age groups, and malaria disproportionately affects infants, children under five, pregnant women and people living with HIV. Healthy citizens living free of the burden of these three illnesses are better able to attend school, support their families and contribute to their communities.

Global Fund support helps countries build the stronger health systems that are key to combatting HIV, TB and malaria, through investment in improved health facilities and care, training of health workers, information management, community support and response mechanisms. By controlling these epidemics, health resources are freed up for other purposes. Recent outbreaks of the Ebola and Zika viruses were a stark reminder that the severity of epidemics is directly linked to the robustness of its health system.

Our investment in the Global Fund represents another opportunity for constructive engagement with the Asia-Pacific. DFAT’s own figures show that, for every dollar Australia contributes, the Global Fund returns $15 to our region; more than one-third of total Global Fund resources have been spent here. This is why RESULTS is calling for the Australian government to pledge AU$300 million to the Global Fund for the 2017-2019 replenishment, in order to maintain Australia’s average contribution to the Global Fund (over the last two replenishments) of 1.7%.