Strengthening healthcare systems The fight against AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria is a battle that can be won – Germany is increasing its contribution to the Global Fund
Development Minister Svenja Schulze said: “In our fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, we have made quite a bit of progress over the last few months and years thanks to our joint determined action. However, the notorious epidemics of AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis still continue. Every year, these diseases infect and kill countless people. The good news is that there are ways of treating and preventing the diseases. We can end these epidemics if we act in solidarity. And that is precisely what we have committed to do. The Global Fund has been successful in its fight against AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, and with our support it will be able to save millions of lives.”
Development Minister Schulze announced Germany’s contribution at the international conference “Get back on track!” which Action against AIDS Germany and friends of the Global Fund, Global Citizen, World Vision, Deutsche Stiftung Weltbevölkerung (DSW) and ONE hat convened in the lead up to the replenishment conference of the Global Fund, scheduled to take place in New York on 18-19 September. The Global Fund replenishment conference is to mobilise at least 18 billion US dollars. That is the amount the Fund needs to continue its existing programmes and adjust them to new developments. With its contribution, Germany is meeting its fair share towards achieving that goal.
Minister Schulze went on to say: “There have been considerable setbacks recently because of the pandemic. Lockdowns, overstretched hospitals and disrupted supply chains meant that, in many places, the treatment of patients with the three diseases discontinued – with dramatic consequences for these people. That is why we are increasing our contribution to the Global Fund by 30 per cent in order to get the fight against these diseases back on track.”
Peter Sands, Executive Director of the Global Fund, said: “COVID-19 clearly demonstrated that strong and inclusive health systems for all people are at the heart of resilient societies. With this 30 per cent pledge increase, the German government is truly demonstrating its leadership in ending AIDS, TB and malaria as public health threats by 2030, while building stronger and more resilient systems for health that enable countries to be better prepared for current and future pandemics. We are extremely grateful to Development Minister Schulze for her strong commitment and to the people of Germany for this steadfast support to reduce health inequities and improve pandemic preparedness and response.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has left its mark: The Global Fund is deploring significant setbacks in the fight against HIV/Aids, tuberculosis and malaria. Since 2020, the number of HIV tests has dropped and less people who are living with HIV have started treatment. HIV is thus spreading faster again. Topped only by COVID-19, tuberculosis is currently the most deadly infectious disease in the world and in 2020 alone, this disease caused more than 100,000 additional deaths compared with the previous year. An additional 69,000 deaths from malaria were recorded in 2020, the first increase in the number of people dying from malaria in the last 20 years. In addition, the pandemic is exacerbating existing inequalities, especially with regard to the care for people living with HIV, tuberculosis and malaria. We need massive global efforts in order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for containing AIDS; tuberculosis and malaria by 2030.
The Global Fund wants to overcome the setbacks caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and achieve the Sustainable Development Goal on ending the three epidemics. The Fund seeks to invest 6 billion US dollars to strengthen health systems, also with a view to promoting pandemic prevention.
So far, with a core contribution of one billion euros for the period from 2020-2022 Germany is the fourth largest donor to the Global Fund and with an additional commitment of 465 million euros in the years 2020-2022, for instance for COVID-19 testing and protective equipment for health workers, the second-largest donor for the Fund’s COVID-19 response.
The BMZ is providing 1.2 billion euros from its regular budget for the 2023-2025 funding period. An additional 100 million euros are to be mobilised through Debt for Health Swaps in favour of the programmes of the Global Fund. This means that countries invest money in health care instead of spending it for debt service payments. There is an immediate benefit for the developing countries concerned, because the money is channelled into programmes run by the Global Fund in the respective countries.
The Global Fund is the most important provider of funding worldwide and most important multilateral partner for programmes to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. Since its inception in 2022, the Global Fund together with his partners has helped to save some 44 million lives in more than 120 partner countries.