Statement on the Global Fund By: Elton John, Pastor Rick Warren, Charlize Theron, Senator Bill Frist and Senator Tom Daschle
Dear Senator Graham, Senator Leahy, Chairwoman Lowey and Ranking Member Rogers,
With you as our champions, the world has made great strides in the fight against AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. We thank you for all you have done and ask for your continued and unparalleled leadership in providing the increased funding to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Global Fund) in Fiscal Year 2020 (FY20) to maximize its impact. As you know, The Global Fund holds its 6th Replenishment in October 2019, offering a chance for America to continue its global health leadership and invest in putting the world back on track to end the epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.
Since it was founded in 2002, Global Fund-supported programming has saved more than 27 million lives. In countries where the Global Fund operates, AIDS mortality has fallen by half from a peak in 2005, and TB and malaria deaths have declined by 25% and 45%, respectively, since 2000.
Yet, despite its remarkable achievements in reducing mortality and infection rates, the Global Fund and its partners still face significant challenges in ending the epidemics.
Malaria cases are on the rise for the first time in 10 years and we risk disease resurgence in places where funding is prematurely cut.
2.6 million people per year are projected to die from antibiotic-resistant TB by 2050, costing the global economy an estimated $16.7 trillion. In addition, drug and insecticide resistant strains of malaria are surfacing.
Around the world, 7,000 young women and girls are infected with HIV every week, and in some African countries young women are eight times more likely to be HIV positive than young men.
Because over 40% of Africa’s population is under the age of 15, it is imperative to scale up HIV prevention and treatment interventions to reach young people.
Today we have the tools to end the worst epidemics of our time. Failure to seize that opportunity would mean exacerbated devastation and death from these diseases, with far greater costs to communities, health systems and economies.
We know we can end these terrible epidemics together but everyone must do their part. For its 6th Replenishment, the Global Fund is asking implementing countries to increase their own investment in health by 48% over three years. Donor governments too must increase their short-term investments.
It is a matter of basic dignity and human rights to ensure all people have access to effective prevention and treatment to live full, free and productive lives – with no one left behind.
It is a matter of global security, as the threat of infectious diseases (such as undetected multi-drug resistant TB) knows no borders, and pandemics among displaced people intensify instability and fragile states.
It is a matter of a sound business and return on investment, as strategic health funding enables economic development, trade and stronger workforces.
In the analysis of its investment case for the 6th Replenishment, the Global Fund has determined that at least $14 billion is needed in this three year cycle to scale up evidence-based programming alongside its partners and put the world on track to end these three epidemics.
We strongly urge you to appropriate $1.56 billion for the Global Fund in FY20. This amount is consistent with continuing the U.S. government’s “leader’s share” in providing 33% of resources for this lifesaving organization.
A strong signal of support and investment from the U.S. Congress will save millions of lives and be catalytic in leveraging the action needed from other donors to join forces with the United States to finally end the epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria once and for all.