Brussels — The European Commission announced a pledge of €470 million for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria for the three-year period beginning in 2017, an increase of €100 million, or 27 percent, over their previous contribution.
The pledge signals the European Commission's strong leadership in global health, and marked the first pledge for the Global Fund's Fifth Replenishment, a funding cycle covering the years 2017 through 2019.
"One of the lessons of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa is the clear need to strengthen health systems in developing countries, so that infectious diseases can be controlled for good," said Neven Mimica, EU Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development.
"With €470 million, the EU's contribution to the Global Fund will contribute to achieve our shared ambition to save 8 million more lives and avert up to 300 million infections," Commissioner Mimica said. "I call on others to raise their contributions so that more resilient systems can be built, and the special needs of women and girls and those of key affected populations be better served."
Mark Dybul, Executive Director of the Global Fund, voiced deep appreciation for the EC's strong leadership in global health.
"With this significant and increased pledge, Europe is demonstrating terrific leadership in global health," said Dr. Dybul. "At a time when Europe faces global challenges like the migrant crisis and climate change, ending epidemics is a top priority that is inter-connected with social stability, education and expanding opportunity."
The European Commission, a strong supporter of the Global Fund since its creation in 2002, is the sixth largest donor. Altogether, Europe represents 48 percent of the total contributions to the Global Fund, the largest of any region.
The European Commission has played a leadership role in decision-making and governance at the Global Fund, and has advocated strongly for building resilient and stronger systems for health, for addressing special challenges facing women and girls, and for reaching key populations affected by HIV, TB and malaria.
Every three years, the Global Fund seeks financial support for its mission. In December 2015, the Global Fund issued an investment case for raising US$13 billion, embracing the global goal of ending HIV, tuberculosis and malaria as epidemics by 2030.
A US$13 billion investment for the 2017-2019 funding cycle would save up to eight million lives, avert up to 300 million infections and new cases of HIV, TB and malaria, and lay the groundwork for potential economic gains of up to US$290 billion in the years ahead.
The Global Fund is a 21st-century partnership designed to accelerate the end of AIDS, TB and malaria as epidemics. As a partnership between governments, civil society, the private sector and people affected by the diseases, the Global Fund mobilizes and invests nearly US$4 billion a year to support programs run by local experts in more than 100 countries.