24 September 2013
Shawn Clackett

UK Support for Global Fund will Save Lives in our Region

Bill Bowtell

Bill Bowtell AO, Executive Director of the Pacific Friends of the Global Fund

Yesterday’s decision by the United Kingdom to pledge £1 billion to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria will help save thousands of lives around the world over the next three years, according to Bill Bowtell, Executive Director of the Pacific Friends of the Global Fund.

The Global Fund was established to finance the fight against the world’s three biggest killers: AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. It is currently seeking $US15 billion to continue its work for 2014-2016 from rich nations, including Australia, as well as the private sector and philanthropists.

Mr Bowtell said the Cameron government had displayed great leadership.

“Australia should now also commit to increasing its support for the life-saving work of the Global Fund,” he said.

“We now have the scientific advances that enable us to remove these three diseases as threats to global public health.

“All we need is the money.”

“Defeating these three killer diseases is a highly worthwhile investment in economic development and growth.

“The Global Fund – which operates to the highest levels of transparency, accountability and proven outcomes – is absolutely critical to making our region a more stable and prosperous part of the world.”

Since 2002 Global Fund investments in Indonesia, Timor Leste and Papua New Guinea have saved tens of thousands of lives.

“In Papua New Guinea, the Global Fund has financed the delivery of almost 4.5 million mosquito nets to stop the spread of malaria. It has also helped detect and treat 42,000 cases of tuberculosis and has invested some $US40 million on HIV prevention and treatment programs.

“There are tens of thousands of people alive today due to the work of the Global Fund and the government of Papua New Guinea – supported by Australia.

“Now more than ever, rich nations need to boost support for the Global Fund. It’s in everyone’s interests to make the world a safer and healthier place.”

The United Kingdom’s commitment is geared toward encouraging other donors to maximize their own pledges to the Global Fund, effectively unlocking additional funds with each contribution, as the United Kingdom contribution is limited to a maximum of ten per cent of the total raised for the Global Fund.

The Department for International Development, which leads the UK’s efforts to end extreme poverty, has championed the cause of helping to halve malaria deaths in ten of the worst affected countries by 2015. It has also been a strong advocate of the launch this year of a new funding model that allows the Global Fund to invest more strategically, achieve greater impact and engage partners more effectively.

The UK has targeted saving the lives of 50,000 women in pregnancy and childbirth and 250,000 newborn babies as well as helping to immunize more than 55 million children against preventable diseases. Allowing at least 10 million more women to use modern methods of family planning by 2015 is also a priority.

The announcement, made in New York just before the start of the United Nations General Assembly, followed a pledge earlier this month by Nordic countries, including Sweden and Norway, of US$750 million for the 2014-16 period, representing an increase of US$150 million.

Pacific Friends operates as a program within the Kirby Institute at the University of New South Wales.

Pacific Friends

Professor Janice Reid AC
Bill Bowtell AO
Executive Director

Pacific Friends of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria is a high-level advocacy organisation which seeks to mobilise regional awareness of the serious threat posed by HIV & AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria to societies and economies in the Pacific. In pursuing its goals Pacific Friends has a specific interest in highlighting the need to protect the rights of women and children in the Pacific.



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