Donors Set Aside U.S.$24 Billion for African Health

September 2016 EastAfricaBusinessWeek; The World Bank and the Global Fund will invest $24 billion in Africa over the next three to five years to accelerate universal health coverage across the continent.

“A critical part of this commitment is to accelerate progress on universal health coverage – ensuring that everyone, everywhere has the opportunity to live a healthy and productive life,” Jim Yong Kim, the President of the World Bank said last week.

The bank and the fund, which works to tackle AIDS, TB and malaria, announced the funding recently at TICAD6 in Nairobi.

Last week in Washington, the President Barack Obama administration said the United States will contribute $4.3 billion to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria. However, the money is subject to congressional approval.

Susan E. Rice, the US National Security Advisor said in a statement last week, “The announcement, made today in Washington D.C., comes shortly before a Global Fund Replenishment Conference in Montreal on September 16-17 gathers world leaders and decision-makers to set funding for the next three years.

“We are committing to match one dollar for every two dollars in pledges made by other donors through September 30th, 2017,” she said.

She said, “We are calling on all partners to contribute generously in order to leverage our matching pledge to reach the Global Fund’s replenishment goal of $13 billion for the three year period from 2017 to 2019.”

According to the Geneva-based organization, to date, the Global Fund has saved 20 million lives.

In its Global Fund Results Report 2016 published last week, there have been one-third fewer deaths from AIDS, TB and malaria in the countries where the Global Fund invests.

The Global Fund partnership, which brings together governments, civil society, the private sector and people affected by the diseases, is on track to reach 22 million lives saved by the end of 2016.

“These figures represent what’s possible when partners from around the globe come together to fight these three diseases,” Mark Dybul, the Executive Director of the Global Fund said.

He said, “At a time of global social and economic upheaval, this is proof positive that when we unite behind bold, ambitious goals we can transform lives and build more just societies.”

Programs supported by the Global Fund, which are designed and implemented by local experts, provided 9.2 million people with antiretroviral therapy for HIV, 15.1 million people with testing and treatment for TB, and 659 million mosquito nets to prevent malaria. As a result of prevention and control interventions in more than 100 countries, Global Fund-supported programs averted 146 million new infections from the three diseases since 2012 alone.

Since the peak of the crisis in 2005, the number of deaths caused by AIDS has declined by 45% in the countries where the Global Fund invests. The number of deaths from TB declined 31 percent between 2000 and 2015 in countries with Global Fund-supported programs. The number of deaths caused by malaria declined 50% in the countries where the Global Fund invested between 2000 and 2015; with continued support, 21 countries could eliminate malaria by 2020.

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