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Global Fund collects almost USD 13 bn for AIDS, malaria and TB

AFP  |  Montreal 

Donors have pledged nearly USD 13 billion in the fight to eradicate AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria by 2030, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced at an international conference.

"It is my great honour to announce that for the fifth replenishment conference for the Global Fund to end AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, we have reached our goal together," he said at the close of the donors' meeting yesterday.

"We have raised almost USD 13 billion, and in doing so, we have saved eight million lives."

Trudeau hosted the conference, which was attended by several heads of states as well as UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates, and pop singer Bono -- who co-founded the nonprofit group ONE, which works to reduce poverty and disease in Africa.

The U2 frontman praised world leaders for coming together to make "the single largest multilateral investment in a global health project in human history."

"We can deliver a knock-out punch to three of the deadliest killers of our time, and today's accomplishment makes that possible," he said.

Created as a public-private initiative, the Global Fund has so far spent USD 30 billion on programs to fight the three deadly diseases around the world, with most going to Africa.

It has been credited with helping to save 22 million lives and preventing 300 million infections over the past decade as it pursues a UN target of eradicating AIDS by 2030 and the other diseases even sooner.

But it needed to raise another USD 13 billion to fund its operations over the next three years through 2019.

The United States, which has provided nearly a third of the total funding so far, pledged an additional USD 4.3 billion.

The second-largest donor, Britain, pledged USD 1.4 billion, followed by France (USD 1.2 billion), Germany (USD 900 million), Japan (USD 800 million) and Canada (USD 600 million).

"We have the knowledge and tools to end HIV, TB and malaria by 2030," Ban said. "Let us work together to make this world healthier and better. I count on your strong commitment and leadership."

Global Fund executive director Mark Dybul told the conference: "We are the generation that can keep these diseases under control,"

"We are on the right side of the tipping point," he said.

"But the thing about tipping points is they can go in either direction, and these next three years will be absolutely essential to maintain the trajectory to get to the end of TB and malaria and the control of HIV."

Failure to do so now would risk allowing the diseases to come back stronger and in drug-resistant form -- a worrying possibility that world leaders are set to debate at the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Wednesday.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sun, September 18 2016. 05:13 IST