WASHINGTON, Dec. 3, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Donors at the launch of the Global Fund's Fourth Replenishment today pledged US$12.0 billion for the next three years, the largest amount ever committed to fight against AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.
The pledges represent a 30 percent increase over the US$9.2 billion in firm pledges secured in 2010 for the 2011-2013 period. In remarks made at a pledging session here today, several partners echoed the Global Fund leadership's determination to attract further commitments during the coming three years in order to defeat the diseases.
"We've had a terrific beginning," said Dr. Nafsiah Mboi, Chair of the Board of the Global Fund, who led the pledging session. "I offer heartfelt thanks for the generosity of all partners in this effort. Now let's go to work."
Mark Dybul, Executive Director of the Global Fund, said in remarks that closed the Replenishment launch: "The 21st Century ideals that led to the founding of the Global Fund are now stronger than ever: partnership, shared responsibility, and mutual accountability. In many ways, this is a replenishment of hope. It is a lifting up of the human spirit."
A mood of optimistic determination at the pledging session at the Replenishment launch was captured in an opening address by Ambassador Samantha Power, the Permanent Representative to the UN for the United States government, which hosted the Fourth Replenishment.
"We can beat this," said Ambassador Power, referring to AIDS, TB and malaria. "Good things happen when multilateral organizations and national governments work together with scientists, philanthropists and civil society. Good things happen when we share responsibility and good things happen when we never give up. Above all, good things happen when we value every human life and honor the rights and dignity of every human being."
The contributions announced today include funding from 25 countries, as well as the European Commission, private foundations, corporations and faith-based organizations.
President Barack Obama on Monday urged other countries to match the U.S. contribution in order to secure the funding needed. President Obama said the United States – the Global Fund's biggest donor -- would uphold its challenge to pledge $1 for every $2 committed by others through September 2014.
At the pledging session today, the United States pledged US$4 billion, although that could rise as additional pledges are made by other donors, up to a maximum of US$5 billion. Some participating countries unable to pledge at today's session said that they plan to do so in the coming months. Several leading donors publicly announced pledges in the previous months, although a few did so just before the Replenishment launch.
The Government of Japan announced a contribution of US$800 million today, underscoring its strong and sustained commitment to the Global Fund. Canada announced that it is contributing US$612 million to the Global Fund for the 2014-2016 period.
Germany also announced it is signing a binding agreement to contribute €600 million to the Global Fund for 2014-2016, consistent with an earlier pledge. Chancellor Angela Merkel said in a video message this week that Germany's longstanding support would never waver.
In recent months, France, the United Kingdom and Nordic countries also announced large new commitments to the Global Fund.
President Francois Hollande announced in July that France would contribute EUR 1.08 billion (US$1.5 billion) to the Global Fund for the 2014-2016 period, reaffirming its robust financial commitment, despite a deeply constrained financial environment. France has been the Global Fund's second largest contributor since its inception in 2002.
The United Kingdom announced at the U.N. General Assembly in September that it will contribute £1 Billion (US$1.6 billion) to the Global Fund for the 2014-2016 period, the second-largest pledge by any government so far after the United States.
The UK commitment is geared toward encouraging other donors to ramp up their own contributions to the Global Fund, effectively unlocking additional funds, as the UK contribution is limited to a maximum of 10 per cent of the total raised for the Global Fund.
Partners from private sector foundations and corporations also unveiled significant increases in their commitment of resources in the fight against the three diseases.
Bill Gates announced on Monday that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is committing up to US$500 million to the Global Fund for the 2014-2016 period. This includes US$300 million previously announced and up to US$200 million in new money that will be used to match other donor commitments.
(RED) said that it is contributing US$40 million over the next two years. Other companies and faith-based organizations also made significant pledges, including Vale, Ecobank, Takeda Pharmaceutical Company and the United Methodist Church.
Securing fresh resources for the next three years will help the Global Fund move closer with its partners toward a tipping point in controlling these epidemics, turning what scientists call high-transmission epidemics into low-level endemics and making them manageable health challenges instead of global emergencies.
"We need a comprehensive approach," said Ambassador Power. "TB is the leading killer of people with AIDS, and 80 percent of deaths from malaria occur in just 14 countries."
"We have finally reached the time when we can envision a future where AIDS, TB and malaria no longer claim millions of lives each year," she concluded.
The Global Fund is an international financing institution dedicated to attracting and disbursing resources to prevent and treat HIV and AIDS, TB and malaria. The Global Fund promotes partnerships between governments, civil society, the private sector and affected communities, the most effective way to help reach those in need. This innovative approach relies on country ownership and performance-based funding, meaning that people in countries implement their own programs based on their priorities and the Global Fund provides financing where verifiable results are achieved.
Since its creation in 2002, the Global Fund has supported more than 1,000 programs in more than 140 countries, providing AIDS treatment for 6.1 million people, anti-tuberculosis treatment for 11.2 million people and 360 million insecticide-treated nets for the prevention of malaria. The Global Fund works in close collaboration with other bilateral and multilateral organizations to supplement existing efforts in dealing with the three diseases.
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SOURCE Global Fund