GENEVA – The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria praised the decision by the Swiss Federal Council to make available CHF300 million to the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator – a ground-breaking global collaboration of leading public health agencies to accelerate the development, production, and equitable access to COVID-19 tests, treatments, and vaccines, while strengthening health systems. This new commitment follows an earlier announcement made in 2020 by the Swiss Federal Council of a CHF400 million contribution.
Of the CHF300 million, CHF50 million will be channeled through the Global Fund's COVID-19 Response Mechanism to mitigate the knock-on impact of COVID-19 on programs to fight HIV, TB and malaria, and help strengthen formal and community systems for health.
As the world faces a global shortage of medical oxygen and new variants continue to emerge around the globe, the new funds will help scale up the procurement and distribution of COVID-19 diagnostic tests, lifesaving treatments and access to medical oxygen and ventilators in low- and middle-income countries.
“We thank Switzerland for its steadfast leadership and for providing additional funding to help countries fight COVID-19,” said Peter Sands, Executive Director of the Global Fund. “Switzerland’s contribution comes at a critical time, when accelerating our joint efforts is essential to help all countries respond to COVID-19 and its variants, protect health workers and save lives.”
“Timely procurement and distribution of COVID-19 tests, therapies and medical equipment are essential if we want to effectively fight the pandemic. By offering the possibility to adapt ongoing HIV, TB and malaria programs to COVID-related activities, strengthening health and community systems, the Global Fund is a key partner in the global fight against the pandemic,” said Ambassador Christian Frutiger, Assistant Director General, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).
The Global Fund has already deployed over US$1 billion to fight COVID-19 and mitigate the impact on HIV, tuberculosis, and malaria in more than 100 countries. The Global Fund is now the primary channel for providing grant support to low- and middle-income countries on tests, treatments (including medical oxygen), PPE and health system strengthening. The Global Fund is seeking to secure an additional US$6.3 billion to respond to the most immediate and urgent needs and play our part in the global fight against COVID-19.