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Disease is winning but we are focused elsewhere

Brussels – AIDS kills nearly one million people each year, progress on malaria has stalled and drug resistance jeopardises some of the best tools to fight tuberculosis. We are in the middle of a global health crisis and we have the most effective tool available: the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.

This year the Global Fund has announced a target of 14 billion for its sixth replenishment conference, which will take place in Lyon, France on 10 October. ONE together with 23 organisations sent an open letter to the European Commission President Jean Claude Juncker asking him to  pledge €580 million ahead of the conference.

Gayle Smith, President and CEO of ONE, said:

“Ask 100 people what is the number one killer of women under 50 and I doubt many of them will say AIDS – but that’s the right answer.  1,000 women and girls contract HIV every single day, most of them in the world’s poorest countries and communities. But the world’s not treating this as an emergency. You think AIDS is a crisis of the past? Think again.

Every two minutes a child dies of malaria. By the end of the today, over 2,500 people will die of AIDS.  It’s neither smart nor right to allow these diseases to defeat us when we’ve made so much progress and know how to win. The world needs to pay attention – and world leaders need to step up and ensure the Global Fund has the resources it needs to deliver its life-saving work.”

Friederike Röder, ONE’s EU and France director, added:

“The EU has helped to save over 1.4 million lives since 2002 by contributing to the Global Fund. This year we want to see a renewed ambitious commitment from the EU to put AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria on a path to extinction.

The EU  committing to pledge €580 million ahead of Lyon could be a decisive move to lead to a successful replenishment in Lyon that could save 16 million lives.

The current political context – with Brexit, the long-term budget negotiations and the EU elections – is difficult, but should serve as a motivation for the EU to step up the fight and show the world that they are still a leader on global health and the SDGs.”