WASHINGTON D.C. – President Barack Obama today proclaimed strong support for the Global Fund on the day it launched its Fourth Replenishment, and urged other countries to match the U.S. contribution in order to secure significantly more funding over the next three years than the US$9.2 billion that began the previous three-year period.
At an event observing World AIDS Day at the White House, President Obama declared that the United States was going to continue its significant support for the Global Fund. To provide leverage in securing additional commitments, he said the United States will continue its challenge to pledge $1 for every $2 dollars committed by others through September 2014, and will seek support from Congress for one-third of the total pledges to the Global Fund’s Replenishment, up to US$5 billion.
“Don’t leave our money on the table,” said President Obama. “Now is the time to replenish the Global Fund.”
Recalling those who have died of AIDS, President Obama also made a poignant appeal to everyone who works on health issues to strive harder: “We have to chart a different course, guided by our love for those we could not save.”
Bill Gates, co-founder of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, spoke after President Obama and announced a major new contribution to the Global Fund, committing up to $500 million for the 2014-2016 period, including $300 million previously announced and up to $200 million in new money that will be used to match other donor commitments.
“The Global Fund is one of the smartest investments that the world can make toward a better future,” said Mr. Gates. “The Global Fund helps provide treatment and prevention so communities and countries get the chance to be healthy and productive.”
Entitled: “No Time to Lose: Sharing the Responsibility to Save Lives,” the Replenishment launch is convening leaders in global health today and tomorrow in Washington to consider how joint action can take advantage of recent scientific advances to defeat AIDS, TB and malaria.
Dr. Nafsiah Mboi, Chair of the Board of the Global Fund, said: “We are tremendously grateful to President Obama for his leadership, and his government’s generosity in hosting the launch of our Replenishment. It enables us to carry out our work, and to improve the lives of millions of children, women and men all over the world who are affected by these diseases.”
Mark Dybul, Executive Director of the Global Fund, said he was highly confident that the amount of pledges made in Washington on 3 December will significantly exceed the US$9.2 billion that was pledged at the Third Replenishment in October 2010 for the three-year period that is now coming to an end.
“Our gathering here today recognises the historic opportunity we have to defeat AIDS, TB and malaria,” said Dr. Dybul. “We all have to work together to get there, and our Replenishment is harnessing our collective determination when it matters most.”
Prime Minister David Cameron of the United Kingdom, in a video message broadcast at the event, called the Global Fund “a fantastic organization,” and said the global community can make a tremendous difference by defeating these diseases. “We have the tools, we have the knowledge. Now what is needed more than ever is political commitment and your ambitious pledges. So let’s get to it.”
Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany also sent a video message, where she cited the remarkable progress made fighting AIDS, TB and malaria, and then added: “You can rely on Germany. Our commitment to the Global Fund will never waiver.”
The Global Fund is an international financing institution dedicated to attracting and disbursing resources to prevent and treat HIV and AIDS, TB and malaria. The Global Fund promotes partnerships between governments, civil society, the private sector and affected communities, the most effective way to help reach those in need. This innovative approach relies on country ownership and performance-based funding, meaning that people in countries implement their own programs based on their priorities and the Global Fund provides financing where verifiable results are achieved.
Since its creation in 2002, the Global Fund has supported more than 1,000 programs in more than 140 countries, providing AIDS treatment for 6.1 million people, anti-tuberculosis treatment for 11.2 million people and 360 million insecticide-treated nets for the prevention of malaria. The Global Fund works in close collaboration with other bilateral and multilateral organizations to supplement existing efforts in dealing with the three diseases.
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