19 September 2016
For immediate release
THE WORLD RALLIES TO SUPPORT THE GLOBAL FUND AND “END IT. FOR GOOD.”
This weekend in Montreal in a show of commitment to global health and development, world leaders pledged a total of US$12.9 billion to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria during its Fifth Replenishment Conference, hosted by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Australia’s contribution of a $220 million pledge, a ten percent increase since the last Conference, was welcomed by global health advocacy group RESULTS Australia.
“RESULTS has worked tirelessly to secure support from all corners of Parliament on this issue and we are delighted that our hard work has translated into an increase to Australia’s contribution to the Global Fund,” said Maree Nutt, CEO at RESULTS Australia.
“Against the reality of major cuts to Australian aid, this increase speaks to the effectiveness of the Global Fund in our region and it’s important role, as also acknowledged by Minister Bishop, in dealing with the growing threat of drug-resistant tuberculosis.”
The head of the Global Fund, Mark Dybul describes 2016 as the tipping point for these diseases, noting that if we stay on the right side of the tipping point over the next three years we will be able to maintain the trajectory to get to the end of TB and malaria and the control of HIV by 2030.
“If we lose our momentum now there is a worrying possibility that drug resistance could grow and the costs of treatment would soar. The average cost of treating tuberculosis, for example, could jump from $400 per patient now to $15,000 for a drug-resistant version,” said Nutt.
The successful replenishment of the Global Fund this time was due to an increase in the number and commitment of private donors as well as several countries upping their commitment significantly.
“It was heartening to see the pledges from private donors and innovative financing initiatives reached US$250 million for the coming three years, more than twice as much as in the previous period as well as countries such as Canada, Germany and Japan really increasing their commitment to fighting these diseases.”
The Global Fund currently supports programs in more than 100 countries which have resulted in an estimated 20 million lives saved since 2002 and is on track to save 22 million lives by the end and avert over 140 million infections by the end of 2016.
“Australia should be proud of the difference we’ll make to the lives of the poorest through our support of the Global Fund but we can’t stop here. Australian aid and our generosity as a nation is at an historic low, and we will need to do more if we and others are serious about ending these diseases for good,” adds Ms Nutt.
For more information contact Monique McDonell on 0414555653