The United States of America just hosted a conference to discuss global funding for the fight against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
“This is an investment that will save another 20 million lives, and reduce mortality from these diseases by another 64% in the next four years,” said US President, Joe Biden.
The fund, a public/private alliance set up in 2002, is seeking $18 billion for its next three-year funding cycle from governments, civil society and the private sector. Before Wednesday’s conference, it had already raised more than a third of the total.
At the conference, world leaders pledged $14.25 billion — the highest amount ever pledged for a multilateral health organization.
“What’s happened today is actually an unparalleled mobilization of resources for global health,” said Global Fund Executive Director Peter Sands.
“Thank you all for stepping up, especially in a challenging global economic environment, and I ask you, keep it going,” urged Biden.
Among donors, the US pledged $60 billion, while smaller countries in Africa like Malawi donated $1million. France, Germany, Japan, Canada, the European Union and the Gates Foundation also announced sizeable commitments.
Meanwhile, South Korea quadrupled its 2019 pledge to $100 million, while Indonesia made its first-ever commitment, offering of $10 million.
HIV continues to be a major global public health issue, having claimed 40.1 million [33.6–48.6 million] lives so far, according to data from the World Health Organization. Malaria and Tuberculosis are not left out in high mortality rates, in 2020, a total of 1.5 million people died from TB (including 214 000 people with HIV). Worldwide, TB is the 13th leading cause of death and the second leading infectious killer after COVID-19 (above HIV/AIDS).
Malaria on the other hand, the World Health Organization’s World Malaria Report in 2017 shared that nearly half the world’s population lives in areas at risk of malaria transmission in 91 countries and territories. In 2016, malaria caused an estimated 216 million clinical episodes, and 445,000 deaths. The WHO also revealed that there was estimated 241 million malaria cases and 627,000 malaria deaths worldwide in 2020.
Africa is the most affected by Malaria with an estimated 801,000 deaths, a figure that represents over 90% of the total annual worldwide malaria-related deaths.
The fund organizers shared that the funding raised by world leaders has been able to reduce the death toll from AIDS, TB, and malaria by 50 percent over the past 20 years, saving more than 50 million lives.
The Global Fund provides 30 percent of all international financing for HIV programmes, 76 percent of funding for TB, and 63 percent of funding for malaria.