The Trudeau government announced exciting news today: Canada will host the fifth replenishment conference for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria in Montreal this September. At the conference, world leaders will announce how much money their countries will be pledging to the Fund between now and 2019.
So that means that hosting the replenishment conference is a big responsibility, and Canada’s government will play a major role in lobbying other world leaders to help hit or surpass the $13 billion target set for the 2017-2019 cycle. This replenishment will be critical in the global fight against these three diseases.
The world has already made huge progress slowing the spread of HIV, but it’s easy to forget there’s still an epidemic raging. Because poverty is sexist, girls and women in Africa are being hit the hardest. AIDS-related illnesses are now the leading cause of death for 15-to-44-year-old women worldwide. In sub-Saharan Africa, 700 young women are infected with HIV every day, and among adolescents in Africa, girls account for three-quarters of all new HIV infections.
But if this year’s Global Fund replenishment goes well, we could get ahead of the spread of the virus once and for all and turn the tide against HIV/AIDS.
Hitting the Global Fund’s replenishment target is crucial – and a good investment. The numbers tell it all:
- For every $100 million contributed to the Global Fund, more than 40,000 lives will be saved and more than 1.5 million infections will be prevented.
- Over the last decade, deaths from HIV have been halved, and transmissions of HIV from mother to child have been more than halved.
- Malaria deaths were reduced by nearly half.
- Child deaths have been reduced by 40 percent, and maternal deaths have been reduced by more than a half.
- The Fund is on track to save 22 million lives by the end of the year.
Canada has been an important part of the Global Fund from the beginning. Canada is the seventh-largest contributor to the Global Fund and has consistently increased its contributions under both Liberal and Conservative governments. In fact, Prime Minister Trudeau also announced Canada’s pledge to the Global Fund replenishment — $780 million CAD over three years — an increase of 20 percent over its 2014-2016 contributions. As a Canadian, I’m proud that PM Trudeau is stepping up to lead on replenishing the Global Fund.
This replenishment is also a huge opportunity for the world to commit to end AIDS for good. Throughout this year, ONE members around the world will call on their governments to step up to the plate.