GENEVA – The Global Fund applauds Germany’s leadership in the global response to COVID-19 and warmly welcomes an additional contribution of EUR 140 million to support Global Fund efforts to fight the COVID-19 pandemic in low- and middle-income countries and mitigate the impact on HIV, tuberculosis and malaria programs, including through deploying diagnostic tests and protecting front-line health workers.
The allocation is part of the EUR 1.5 billion commitment announced by Chancellor Merkel at the G7 leaders virtual meeting in February to support the work of the ACT-Accelerator, a groundbreaking collaboration of global partners co-founded by the Global Fund to accelerate the development, production and equitable delivery of new tests, treatments and vaccines. This contribution of EUR 140 million to the Global Fund’s COVID-19 response follows an early contribution by Germany of EUR 150 million announced in June 2020.
Development Minister Gerd Müller, commenting on worldwide efforts to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria in the context of COVID-19, said Germany was already the fourth-largest donor to the Global Fund and that Germany’s additional funding of EUR 140 million this year would help maintain programs fighting these diseases. “Nearly two thirds of all tuberculosis programs have been disrupted. Consequently, the World Health Organization fears that the number of deaths in 2020 from tuberculosis will have increased by up to 400,000 worldwide, many of them among children. We must not let up in our efforts to fight tuberculosis. That is why Germany has decided to increase its contributions to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria,” said Müller.
“We are extremely grateful for Germany’s leadership in providing additional funding for our response to help countries fight COVID-19, to save lives and to protect hard-won gains against HIV, TB and malaria,” said Peter Sands, Executive Director of the Global Fund. “Galvanizing a bolder, faster and more unified response is critical. The longer COVID-19 is left unchecked in some parts of the world, the more the risk of new variants and the greater the knock-on impact on economies and other deadly diseases.”
With support from donors and partners, the Global Fund is playing a key role in the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2020, the Global Fund immediately made available up to US$1 billion to help countries fight COVID-19 with critical tests, treatments and medical supplies, protect front-line health workers, adapt lifesaving HIV, TB and malaria programs, and reinforce fragile systems for health. As the world’s largest provider of grants for strengthening systems for health, Global Fund investments in community responses, health workers, laboratories, supply chain improvements and health information systems are underpinning the response to COVID-19 in many low- and middle-income countries.
The Global Fund Board approved end of March the extension of the COVID-19 Response Mechanism. With this decision and the welcome additional funding from Germany, the Global Fund will be able to provide swift additional support to partner countries.
“We must act together and quickly. Accelerating equitable access to vaccines is essential. But it is equally important to ensure equitable access to tests, treatments and PPE for front-line health workers. Only by taking a comprehensive approach, tackling weaknesses in health systems and strengthening community resilience, can we beat this formidable virus and continue the fight against HIV, TB and malaria,” Sands said.