$220 million by Australia to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria for 2017 to 2019, part of a global replenishment of $US 12.9 billion.
The latest Results Report by the Global Fund shows that the contributions by Australia and other countries to the Global Fund over 15 years have enabled the Global Fund to achieve some remarkable reductions in the spread and impact of HIV, TB and Malaria.
Since 2002, the Global Fund has supported these total outcomes:
- Saving 22 million lives over 15 years;
- A reduction of one third in the number of people dying from HIV, TB and malaria since 2002, in countries where the Global Fund invests
- Giving access to antiretroviral therapy for HIV to 11 million people, more than half the global total of people with access;
- Providing treatment to 17.4 million people for TB; and
- Distributing 795 million mosquito nets through programs for malaria.
To appreciate the significance of these impressive numbers, we need to remember that the situation for many countries and people affected by HIV, TB and Malaria was hopeless at the beginning of this century. Antiretroviral therapy, which could significantly prolong and improve the lives of people with HIV, was available to only a tiny proportion of people with HIV. TB, which is a preventable and treatable disease, was affecting increasing numbers of people due to the vulnerability of people with HIV to TB infections. Outdated detection technology and medications also hampered action to control TB. Malaria caused the deaths of nearly one million people, mostly children, each year.
For each disease, infection and death rates have dropped significantly since the Global Fund began operating – HIV-related deaths have fallen by 48%, TB deaths by 22% and malaria deaths by 50% since 2000.
In the case of TB, one of the challenges is that the number of cases and deaths has been under-estimated previously, and better measurement is uncovering the true extent of the disease. In addition, progress in developing and implementing new testing and treatment for TB has been slow, due in part to limited funding for research and development.
Nevertheless, the funding which governments and private foundations and businesses provide to the Global Fund has been an outstanding investment. The Results Report cites four recent independent reports which have recognised the strong performance of the Global Fund, including this assessment by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT): “…DFAT also gave the Global Fund a top rating for its effective approach to investing donor money, and confirmed the Global Fund as a strong, responsive development partner.”
The Global Fund is seeking an additional $US 500 million for the 2017 to 2019 period, and the outstanding outcomes the Global Fund is achieving makes a strong case for the Australian Government and private sector supporters to contribute to this funding goal.
Mark Rice is the Policy and Advocacy Manager for RESULTS International Australia