By Biodun Busari
The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria raised $14.25 billion at a donor conference attended by French President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday.
It was the highest amount pledged for a multidimensional health organisation as hopes of tackling these three diseases were punctured by COVID-19.
However, the project fell far short of the ambitious goal of $18 billion following the announcements by the United Kingdom and Italy that their donations would come later.
Macron spoke at the public health partnership’s Seventh Replenishment Conference, together with leaders from the United States, Japan, Germany, Canada and the European Union to announce new commitments to tackle various diseases.
Macron said: “Victory against the great pandemics is within our reach, but we still have a long way to go. 38.4 million people are still living with AIDS, and malaria and tuberculosis infections are on the rise in Africa, the Middle East and Latin America.
“These are the realities we must face up to. We still have a lot to do in the coming years and in 2030 we must keep our promise: HIV, malaria and tuberculosis must be gone.”
“I am happy to announce that we will allocate an additional 300 million euros to the Global Fund over three years, which means that we will invest almost 1.6 billion euros between 2023 and 2025.”
The French leader also vowed to “continue our fight to lower the price of drugs” by investing 250 million euros over three years in the international drug purchasing organisation Unitaid.
Since The Global Fund was created in 2002, it has saved 50 million lives and reduced the combined death rate from HIV, tuberculosis and malaria by more than half in the countries where the fund invests.
The tuberculosis mortality rate fell by 21% and that of malaria by 26%.
The Global Fund is an international financing and partnership organization that aims to attract, leverage and invest additional resources to end the epidemics of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria to support the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals established by the United Nations.