Today, the UK Government announced its pledge of £1 billion to The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
The long-anticipated announcement comes nearly two months after the Seventh Replenishment Conference in which governments and partners across sectors convened to pledge a record US$14.25 billion.
The UK’s pledge is £400 million less than in 2019 and £800 million short of Global Fund’s request to the UK, having set an overall target of US$18 billion (a 30 percent increase on 2019), to regain progress lost during the COVID-19 pandemic and save 20 million lives over the next three years. Many countries, including the UK’s G7 partners committed to increasing their contributions.
The funding shortfall from the UK will have a knock-on effect on the replenishment total, with the US only able to contribute up to one third of the total, according to their domestic laws.
As a founding member, the UK has historically been a leader in championing the Global Fund’s success over the last 20 years in making significant progress against the three diseases: it is estimated that a 70 percent increase in malaria cases has been avoided because of Global Fund-financed interventions.
James Tibenderana, Malaria Consortium’s Chief Executive, commented:
“Given the current economic climate in the UK, it is positive that the UK Government has been able to make a formal pledge to the Global Fund. The UK has been one of the leaders within health development and should continue to demonstrate its leadership – this commitment, albeit less than hoped for, signals that it continues to take its ‘health for all’ agenda seriously.
It is particularly reassuring to hear Andrew Mitchell highlight the Global Fund’s support in strengthening health and community systems to tackle these diseases. Our experience tells us that health system strengthening goes hand in hand with disease reduction. We need to support countries in their renewed efforts to tackle endemic malaria transmission as they recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and build increased resilience to prevent, detect and respond to future disease threats.”
Earlier in the year and as the replenishment deadline was reached, many African countries, equally impacted by COVID-19 and economic constraints stepped up and demonstrated the necessary leadership and commitment by increasing their pledges by 30 percent.
“It is encouraging to hear that the UK Government continues to support efforts to reduce disease burden, including in countries like Nigeria, which has one of the greatest global malaria burdens and where we know Global Fund investment has had impact. We cannot afford to let progress reverse, if we do, we risk further driving health inequity and contradict the message that ending malaria is possible,” continued James Tibenderana.