African Countries Step Up Contributions to the Global Fund
GENEVA - African countries increased investments in the Global Fund as global health partners seek to galvanize all sources of funding to end AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria as epidemics, and to build resilient and sustainable systems for health.
Benin, Côte d'Ivoire, Kenya, Namibia, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Togo, and Zimbabwe each made contributions to the Global Fund's Fifth Replenishment, hosted by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada in Montreal on 16-17 September. Altogether, the conference secured pledges of more than $12.9 billion from partners across the world.
Pledges by African countries to the Global Fund are aligned with a far more significant increase of domestic investment in health by African countries - US$10.9 billion committed for 2015-17. For the first time, Africa is now mobilizing more domestic funding for health than foreign funding in the sector.
Specific pledges to the Global Fund signal commitment beyond any specific country, toward a global approach to ending the epidemics.
President Faure Gnassingbé of Togo, making his nation's first contribution to the Global Fund of US$1 million, said Togo will play its part in the fight against epidemics to end them for good.
President Macky Sall of Senegal said: "In an interconnected and interdependent world, diseases know no borders." He added: "New impetus is needed to continue support to the countries affected by diseases. These countries should also invest more in the health sector so we can end these diseases for good."
President Alassane Ouattara of Cote d'Ivoire also pledged US$1 million to the Global Fund, and spoke about the importance of focusing investments in programs that specifically address the disproportionate effects on women and girls.
President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya, when he announced a pledge of US$5 million just prior to the Replenishment Conference, said his country was contributing the funds in the spirit of solidarity and shared responsibility in the fight against diseases.
"The funds, which will be invested in prevention and treatment of diseases and in building health systems, will save lives and create more inclusive and thriving communities," President Kenyatta said.
Mark Dybul, Executive Director of the Global Fund, said more investments in health by African countries have helped build remarkable momentum against HIV, tuberculosis and malaria - some of Africa's most devastating diseases.
"African leaders have made investing in health a top priority," Dr. Dybul said. "They are strong partners in a global movement that is determined to expand access to health services to everyone, leaving no one behind."
The Replenishment Conference raised nearly $1 billion more than the previous pledging session in 2013, and benefitted from participation by leaders from countries all over the world, including heads of state of Senegal, Côte d'Ivoire and Togo and the prime ministers of Mali and Guinea.
The amount raised will save 8 million lives, avert 300 million infections, and help build resilient and sustainable systems for health. The conference is the beginning of a three-year replenishment period, and the Global Fund will work to gain further contributions in the coming months and years, with strong advocacy by civil society and partners worldwide.
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