LONDON, 23 March 2016: As politicians and policymakers gathered in Parliament today to mark World TB Day, leading international development charities called on the UK Government to invest £1.2 billion in the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria at its 5th replenishment in order to save over 1 million lives.
Since 2002 the Global Fund has been the principal international financing institution working towards ending the three diseases, which between them claim over 3 million lives every year. In that time the Fund has saved 17 million lives and achieved a one-third decline in deaths from the diseases in countries where it invests.
The Fund has been essential in the fight against tuberculosis (TB), a disease which has killed more people than any other infectious disease in history and now accounts for 1 in 3 HIV deaths. Last year TB re-emerged as the world’s leading infectious killer resulting in 1.5 million deaths in a single year – the equivalent to the total number of deaths from the Ebola outbreak every two days.
The Fund’s investments have treated over 13 million TB cases and it currently provides over three quarters of all international finance to combat the disease.
“Without the Global Fund we simply wouldn’t have an international response to TB” said Aaron Oxley, Executive Director of RESULTS UK, an international development charity dedicated to the end of TB.
Last December, the Global Fund launched its 5th replenishment for the period 2017-2019, with its Investment Case calling for international donors to contribute US$13 billion. This investment will save an additional 8 million lives from the three diseases, avert 300 million new infections and generate US$41 billion in domestic investments in healthcare. A fully funded Global Fund is critical in order to meet the ambition of the Global Goals, agreed at the UN in September 2015, which include a target to end the epidemics of AIDS, TB and malaria by 2030.
Successive UK Governments have shown strong support for the Fund: at its last replenishment conference in 2013, the Government pledged up to £1 billion, making the UK the third largest contributor with a pledge to save a life every three minutes. The Government’s review of multilateral aid in 2011 found that the Fund was ‘very good value for money’.
The call for £1.2 billion worth of investment from the UK Government in the Global Fund’s 5th replenishment is supported by international development advocates including organisations such as STOPAIDS, ONE, Malaria No More UK, Salamander Trust, Malaria Consortium and RESULTS UK.
To mark World TB Day, the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Global TB held a series of events in Parliament, including a panel discussion with the Minister of State for International Development, Desmond Swayne MP, the External Relations Director of the Global Fund, Christoph Benn, and Aaron Oxley.
Speaking after the event, Mr Oxley said:
“The UK has shown real leadership through its commitment to the Global Fund and it’s crucial that it continues to do so. We are at a tipping point: if the level of international funding drops, the last decade of investments will be undermined.
There is a misconception that TB is a disease from a bygone age but it’s the world’s leading infectious killer and causes one in three HIV deaths. We must have an integrated approach to ending the world’s leading infectious killers, and the Global Fund provides us with that.”
The Rt Hon Nick Herbert MP, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Global TB, added:
“The Global Fund replenishment is the first major test for the UK’s commitment to the Global Goals, which include a target to end the three epidemics by 2030. At the current rate of progress, however, it will take 150 rather than 15 years to end TB.
“The UK Government once again has a vital role to play in contributing to this essential Fund and in demonstrating the leadership which is needed for countries to come together to end TB.”
Notes to Editor
1. The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria published its Investment Case for its 2016 replenishment on 17 December 2015 at the Fund’s pre-replenishment meeting in Tokyo.
2. The Global Fund’s Investment Case target of US$13 billion was informed by the Stop TB Partnerships’ Global Plan to End TB 2016-20 (published on 20 November 2015), a 5-year investment plan that outlines the steps needed to accelerate impact on the TB epidemic. UNAIDS Fast-Track: Ending the AIDS Epidemic by 2030 and Action and Investment to defeat Malaria (AIM) 2016-2030.
3. On 21 September 2015, the Global Fund published its Results Report showing the impact that its investments have had, noting 17 million lives had been saved and 13.2 million people have been treated for TB.
4. £1.2 billion represents a 14% share of the Global Fund’s overall ask of US$13 billion, which is in alignment with the UK’s contribution of 14% to OECD Official Development Assistance. It also represents a 20% increase from the UK Government’s last pledge in 2013, which is less than the overall increase in the UK aid budget over the same period.
5. The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Global TB is a cross-party group of UK parliamentarians committed to ending the TB epidemic.