In an unprecedented show of global solidarity, donors at the Global Fund's Sixth Replenishment Conference pledged 14.02 billion US dollars for the next three years.
The commitment to give and to implement programmes and projects that can eradicate HIV AIDS, TB and malaria remain fundamental in the whole spirit to step up the fight against the killer diseases. Donors at the sixth Global Fund's Replenishment Conference were very much aware of these challenges. As ably stated by French President, Emmanuel Macron, the whole issue is not only giving out money but ensuring that victims of these diseases live better lives. But as fate would have it, it all begins with mobilising resources. In an unprecedented show of global solidarity, donors raised a colossal sum of 14.02 billion dollars for the next three years, the largest amount ever raised for a multilateral health organization, and the largest amount by the Global Fund. Pending the official publication of the list of donors, it is worth mentioning that many of them; countries, international organisations and private sector partners demonstrated their will to save 16 million lives and end the epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria by 2030. Almost all key donors stepped up their contributions by at least 15 per cent in response to the call from the French leader. In a stunning final push to reach the 14 billion dollars target, President Macron joined Bill Gates to make increased commitments for the coming three-year period, announcing that they would each guarantee an additional 60 million dollars on top of pledges announced earlier in the day. With just 80 million dollars to go, President Macron, Gates and Bono - pointing to the imperative of ending the epidemics by 2030 - committed to raise at least a further 100 million dollars during the replenishment period to achieve a total of over 14 billion dollars. Many donors significantly increased their pledges, citing the urgency to take decisive action. The United States Congress signaled outstanding support with 1.56 billion dollars a year, maintaining a 33 per cent portion of all contributions. France itself increased its contribution by 20 per cent to 1.296 billion Euros including the additional 60 million dollars announced by President Macron. Other major donors all stepped up the fight: The United Kingdom pledged £1.4 billion for the coming three-year period, a 16 per cent increase; Germany pledged 1 billion Euro, a 17.6 per cent increase; Canada, 930 million CAD, a 16 per cent increase, the European Union, 550 million Euros, a 16 per cent increase; Japan contributed 840 million dollars and other longstanding donors contributed as well. Further expanding its donor base, the Global Fund also welcomed 20 new and returning public donors. Private donors pledged more than 1 billion dollars for the first time ever, an extraordinary achievement led by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's pledge of 760 million dollars, and (RED)'s pledge of 150 million dollars, alongside longstanding supporters such as Sri Dato Dr Tahir, Comic Relief and Takeda. Six new private donors also joined, including Children's Investment Fund Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation, and 11 partners committed other resources to expand innovation and impact. The promise to save 16 million lives in the next three years and ultimately end the epidemics by 2030 will only be achieved by leadership and increased investment in health from the countries implementing programs. An unprecedented number of implementing countries from Africa - 23 including Cameroon - made pledges to the Global Fund. During the conference, several Heads of state committed to increase domestic resources for health and work towards universal health coverage.