World governments, private sector, civil society, and affected communities came together this past week to invest the US$14 billion needed for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Global Fund) to help bring an end to the AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria epidemics by 2030, the largest amount ever raised by an international health organization. The Global Fund raised $14.02 billion at its Sixth Replenishment Conference hosted by President Emmanuel Macron on October 9-10 in Lyon, France, which includes $100 million to be raised by Bill Gates and Bono with active support from French President Macron before the end of the year. A successfully replenished Global Fund saves 14,600 lives each day over the next three years, and accelerates progress toward UHC through investments in building resilient and sustainable health systems.
Japan led the charge this replenishment round with early commitments pledged by the Government of Japan as well as the private sector, and at the conference State Minister for Foreign Affairs Hon. Keisuke Suzuki shared how Japan worked to build momentum for a successful sixth replenishment through its leadership role in various international forums including the G20 Osaka Summit as well as the Seventh Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD7).
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced Japan’s commitment early in the summer, providing a milestone in the sixth replenishment round as the first G7 country—and fourth country overall—to pledge its support for the Global Fund. Japan’s new pledge of US$840 million is the highest made by Japan to date, and will save 1 million lives and avert 14.3 million new infections through Global Fund-supported programs. Takeda Pharmaceutical also announced its renewed investment in the Global Fund in June, making the first private sector commitment to the sixth replenishment round.
Ultimately, a successful Global Fund replenishment celebrates how international cooperation can save millions of lives and curb the epidemic trajectories of the world’s three deadliest infectious diseases. Representing communities impacted by the three diseases, (RED) ambassador and activist Connie Mudenda shared her story, emphasizing how she would not have been alive that day had there not been support from the Global Fund, and calling for the need to “take out the aspect of luck and put justice in place.” Bill Gates added that “the Global Fund is both the kindest thing people have done, and one of the best investments my foundation has made.” President Macron emphasized the importance of solidarity with the Global Fund, providing strong leadership at the conference that resulted in a number of last minute increases in peer country pledges, while also drawing attention to the value of solidarity with other global health initiatives such as Gavi and UNITAID, which also require global support to tackle shared challenges. Global Fund Board Chair Donald Kaberuka highlighted the unprecedented number of pledges and commitments to increased domestic resources to health made by African Heads of State, demonstrating a paradigm change that recognizes the leadership and investments needed by implementing countries to successfully and sustainably end the epidemics by 2030.
Global Fund Executive Director Peter Sands concluded by thanking all partners for their contributions, reminding the room that “this year, we promised the seven-year-olds of the world that we would end AIDS, TB and malaria by 2030—the time they become adults—so they don’t have to. Today’s remarkable demonstration of global solidarity shows that the world is committed to keep that promise.”