HAMBURG (6 July 2017) During Germany’s presidency of the G20, for the first time, the issue of global health has been placed on the G20 agenda. The summit in Hamburg offers a unique opportunity for Germany to set an example for the rest of the G20 countries in the fight against HIV/AIDS worldwide.
As the G20 meets on July 7th and 8th in Hamburg, AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) in Europe calls on Germany, China and other G20 leaders to increase their pledges and to commit their fair share to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. AHF is the largest global nonprofit provider of HIV prevention services, testing and medical care, currently serving more than 770 000 patients in 39 countries, including 53 000 in the European region.
In 2015, AHF rolled out an ambitious global advocacy campaign called “Fund the Fund” specifically urging large donors such as Germany, Japan and China to increase their contributions to the Global Fund. The long-running advocacy effort included grassroots demonstrations in front of embassies in over 20 countries, including Germany; a letter writing campaign, advertising campaigns and meetings with embassy officials and high-level decision makers around the world.
“We applaud Germany for demonstrating its commitment during the Fifth Replenishment Round of the Global Fund in September 2016, by increasing its pledge by more than thirty percent,” said Zoya Shabarova, AHF Europe Bureau Chief. “However, the campaign is not over with that welcome result of Germany’s leadership, and we continue to urge other countries like China to be generous and to commit their fair share to the Global Fund.”
UNAIDS estimates that if services are not scaled-up rapidly by 2020, it could result in 21 million deaths and an additional 28 million people becoming infected with HIV by 2030. If this were to happen, the world would have to pay an additional $24 billion every year for antiretroviral therapy (ART) drugs by 2030. On the other hand, a timely scale-up of funding for AIDS, TB and malaria would yield a 15-fold return on investment.
“We ask Germany and other global leaders to recall the reasons for supporting the Global Fund at its onset and the goals the world hoped to accomplish,” added Denis Godlevskiy, Europe Advocacy Director for AHF Europe. “If the decline in funding continues, these impressive achievements will be endangered—we could lose billions of dollars, and more importantly, millions of lives. The HIV epidemic remains the deadliest in modern history. Every year over one million people die of AIDS-related causes and two million become infected with HIV.”
To end it, the world needs a strong, ongoing investment of money from Germany, China and other members of the G20 block. AHF Europe urges the G20 members to continue keeping healthcare on the agenda of the Global Summit help fully fund the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
Reference: The Global Fund is an organization designed to accelerate the end of AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria as epidemics. Founded in 2002, the Global Fund is a partnership between governments, civil society, the private sector and people affected by the diseases. The Global Fund raises and invests nearly US$4 billion a year to support programs run by local experts in countries and communities most in need. Over 470 million people worldwide have been tested for HIV thanks to Global Fund supported programs. About 8.6 million people are receiving lifesaving antiretroviral therapy for HIV and 16 million people with HIV-TB co-infection have been treated. Nearly 3.3 million mothers have received treatment to prevent the transmission of HIV to their babies and 560 million people with malaria have also been treated.