LOS ANGELES (October 10, 2019) A slew of donors—from wealthy nations to the private sector, and many in-between—joined together today to achieve a monumental milestone for global public health. AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) applauds the leadership and the generous donors that helped exceed the goal of $14 billion set by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Global Fund) to defeat the three deadly diseases by 2030.
Of the primary donors not previously announced, the U.S. continued leading the way with its pledge of $4.68 billion (33% of total contributions). France boosted its previous pledge by 20% by committing to contribute $1.4 billion, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation slid into the top six of all donors as they led the private sector with a pledge of $760 million. Many smaller and first-time donors also stepped up to play a significant role in achieving the unprecedented goal.
“We are extremely happy that the world has come together to exceed this goal,” said AHF President Michael Weinstein. “We applaud the donors for their generosity and also want to praise Global Fund Executive Director Peter Sands for his leadership that has boosted the Fund’s credibility and gotten us to this point—as well as President Macron for taking the initiative to lead the Replenishment conference and for his efforts to inspire increased last-minute pledges.”
Noticeably (almost) absent from the list of leading donors was China. Even though they flaunt the world’s second largest economy, they pledged a mere $18 million—despite having received more than $802 million in Global Fund support in the past.
“It’s unfortunate that we even have to mention this, as it detracts from all the good that the majority of the world has accomplished today—but China’s pledge is absolutely shameful. There’s really no other word to describe it.” added Weinstein. “We’re at a loss for why a leading economy, and one that the Global Fund has given assistance to in the past, would refuse to return the favor and help the greater good.”
The total amount pledged initially came in at just under the $14 billion mark, but final pushes by France, Bill Gates and U2 front man Bono propelled the Fund across the finish line to arrive at the $14.02 billion total—the largest amount ever raised for a multilateral health organization.
AHF has advocated for several years via its Fund the Fund campaign to ensure a fully funded Global Fund, as it has been unparalleled in its ability to deliver support. Since its inception in 2002, the Fund has saved over 32 million lives around the world, and in 2018 alone, it ensured that 18.9 million people were receiving antiretroviral medicine for HIV, treated 5.3 million people for TB and distributed 131 million mosquito nets across the globe.