Co-authored by USAID Administrator Gayle E. Smith
Today, donor governments and global public health leaders will meet in Montreal, Canada for the Fifth Replenishment Conference of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Ahead of the conference, the White House announced the U.S. government commitment of up to $4.3 billion through 2019 to the Global Fund, subject to congressional appropriations. To galvanize global action, we are committing to match one dollar for every two dollars in pledges made by other donor countries through September 2017, up to a total of $4.3 billion.
The U.S. government's substantial pledge builds on President Obama’s strong record of support for the Global Fund and an enduring U.S. commitment to helping end HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria. As the first and largest donor to the Global Fund, the United States government has invested more than $13 billion since its establishment in 2002. Under President Obama’s leadership, with critical support from Congress, the U.S. government has committed $55 billion to the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and doubled annual funding levels for the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI).
These investments have yielded real returns. Together with our partners, we have saved an estimated 6 million lives from malaria and 43 million lives from tuberculosis since 2000. Globally, 17 million people are receiving life-saving HIV/AIDS treatment, and we will reach nearly 13 million more people by the end of next year through PEPFAR.
Our partnership with the Global Fund also helps maximize the impact and efficiency of our bilateral investments targeting AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria by enabling the United States to strategically deploy our resources. PMI, PEPFAR, and the Global Fund are more aligned, interdependent, and interconnected than ever before, and we have dramatically reduced duplication. That means the success of PEPFAR and PMI is dependent on a robust Global Fund replenishment.
For example, PMI currently works only in countries where the Global Fund has a presence. And, in many PEPFAR-support sites, the Global Fund provides the commodities for testing and treatment while PEPFAR focuses on service delivery and technical assistance. We can’t have one without the other. So even as we have upped our investments in global health, we are working hard to ensure every dollar, euro, pound, or yen saves the greatest possible number of lives and prevents the most possible new infections. The individuals we serve around the world deserve nothing less.
We have made important progress over the past decade and a half, but we stand at a critical juncture in our aim of ending all three epidemics by 2030 – the bold Sustainable Development Goal target set by 193 United Nations member states last year. In the U.S. and around the globe, the significant progress we have achieved hasn’t reached everyone. These epidemics disproportionately affect the world’s most vulnerable and poorest people, including children, adolescents, young women, rural communities, and migrant workers, as well as key populations, defined by UNAIDS as gay men and other men who have sex with men, transgender people, sex workers, people who inject drugs, and prisoners. Stigma and discrimination continue to prevent key populations from accessing life-saving services. And the alarming rates of new HIV infections among adolescent girls and young women in sub-Saharan Africa remind us that our work is far from done.
As a global community, we have the historic opportunity to create a generation freed from the devastation of AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria. But we need a strong Global Fund to do it. That is why we encourage all governments to increase or maintain their commitments to the Global Fund's Fifth Replenishment, leveraging our matching pledge to reach the replenishment goal of $13 billion for the three-year period from 2017 to 2019.
The United States is ready to act, and we need our partners around the world to stand with us. There is no time to waste and no time for complacency. Together, we can save millions of lives and end these three epidemics once and for all.