Biarritz – The ONE Campaign is celebrating a series of vital new financial commitments to the Global Fund to fight AIDS, TB and Malaria from leaders attending the G7 summit in Biarritz this weekend.
On Saturday, President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, announced that the EU would be increasing its support for the Fund to €550 – an increase of 16% from its previous commitment, and on Sunday, the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, confirmed that Germany would pledge a further €1billion, a significant increase from its initial pledge of €800 million in 2016. And on Monday, outgoing Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte will commit a further €161million on behalf of Italy, an increase of 15%.
These pledges follow an announcement from the Canadian Government on Thursday evening that it was making an increased pledge of CAN$930 million – a 16% increase on its previous contribution.
In a statement following the German announcement on Sunday, Bono, lead singer of U2 and co-founder of ONE and (RED), said: “If we are honest, the fight against these killers has recently become a challenge in a world sceptical of multilateralism.
“A successful Global Fund replenishment in October will not only keep hope alive for millions of people living with AIDS, TB and malaria, it will keep hope alive for international co-operation and our shared values, which face such challenging times.
“That would be a victory for common sense as well as the common good.”
The Global Fund is seeking to generate $14 billion when it meets for its replenishment conference being hosted by French President, Emmanuel Macron, in Lyon in October. If reached, this will help to save 16 million lives over the next three years. This funding will also maintain vital momentum in the battle to eradicate the three diseases.
Gayle Smith, President and CEO of ONE, said: “It is thrilling to see countries stepping up and increasing their support to the Global Fund. We often see leaders make big promises at major international summits and then fail to see them through. But in this case we know they’re going to save millions of lives and help us move closer to ending AIDS, TB and malaria for good.
“This is great leadership from Canada, Germany, Italy and the European Union which builds on the powerful commitment that we’ve already seen from the UK, but it’s now up to others to follow this lead. It’s still a stretch to raise the funds required, but there are still some big players to pledge – including France and the USA.
“These are big commitments, but what could be a better investment? Just imagine the potential of a world that isn’t held back by these three diseases – surely that’s got to be worth every penny.”