The World Health Organization welcomes new funding commitments made at the Global Fund’s Sixth Replenishment Conference in Lyon hosted by the Government of France. The pledges, amounting to USD 14.02 billion will cover a three- year period (2020-2022) to finance the fight against HIV, TB and malaria.
“I welcome the commitment made by so many donors under the auspices of France to fully finance the Global Fund for the next three-year period. This is critical to provide individuals and communities with the health interventions they need to prevent, diagnose and treat HIV, TB and malaria and to build better and stronger health systems.” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General.
The renewed commitment to replenish the Global Fund will mean that over 110 affected countries will receive critical financial support for health allowing them to scale up infectious diseases responses and to fight back against drug resistance and other threats. It is expected that the Global Fund will continue to invest a good proportion of this money to strengthen health systems, including building diagnostics capacities, surveillance systems and supply chains.
WHO and the Global Fund have worked closely together since the Global Fund was set up in 2002 to help countries establish and sustain nationally-driven programmes to fight HIV, TB and malaria. It provides vitally needed funding, while WHO supplies technical expertise and guidance at both global and country level.
Although HIV, TB and malaria are all preventable and treatable diseases, they continue to kill more than 2.6 million people each year. In many countries with significant epidemics, productivity is impacted, and the national economy suffers. Despite a global commitment made in SDGs in 2016 to “end the epidemics by 2030”, many countries are not on track to meet this goal. Recent WHO reports indicate that progress on malaria has stalled and the decline in HIV and TB cases is not fast enough to meet interim milestones, citing funding shortages as a key challenge.
Dr Tedros added: “The replenishment of the Global Fund is not just an investment in one organization or three diseases; it’s an investment in our shared vision of a healthier, safer and fairer world. This commitment is a strong statement that the fight against infectious diseases can be won, and that our commitment to “end the epidemics” and “leave no one behind” are not empty slogans.”
Dr Tedros was speaking on behalf of the Global Fund Board partners namely UNAIDS, the Stop TB Partnership, the RBM Partnership to End Malaria, UNITAID, World Bank and WHO at the Lyon conference.