Yesterday the Department for International Development (DFID) announced that it will provide measures of support to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. The announcement shows that DFID are advancing a payment of £100 million from a previous UK pledge to the Global Fund committing £640million between 2011 and 2015. Although it does not signal new funding as it is an early disbursement of funds already promised, it is positive that DfID have recognised the urgent need for financing at the Global Fund and agreed to release the funds early.
The funds released will be used to:
- Provide malaria supplies, including insecticide sprays, bed nets and drugs for treatment to malaria hot-spots, include Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya and Angola. With DFID’s support, 1.6 million bed nets will be distributed to protect families from malaria.
- An additional 64,000 HIV/AIDS patients will receive life-saving anti-retroviral treatment and an additional 9,000 HIV positive women will receive treatment preventing HIV transmission to their babies.
- An additional 56,000 people will receive TB treatment.
Andrew Mitchell MP, the Secretary of State for International Development, said:
“The Coalition Government has been absolutely clear that we will be relentless in our efforts to save lives in the world’s poorest countries.
“The Global Fund has an impressive track record in delivering medicine and prevention tools for HIV, TB and malaria to those who most need it.
“By bringing forward this payment we’re wasting no time in getting life-saving programmes off the ground. We’re accelerating delivery because a delay will cost many lives.”
DFID’s advance payment couldn’t be timelier and will help the Global Fund prevent disease and save more lives. The Global Fund is the most effective funding mechanism for fighting TB, HIV and malaria and to date has saved 6.5 million lives through Global Fund-supported programmes since its creation in 2002.
We are eagerly awaiting the results, due in February, of DFID’s ongoing Multilateral Aid Review, which will decide the level of DFID’s support to international organisations like the Global Fund over the next few years. The Global Fund is precisely the kind of organisation that merits DFID support, and we are delighted to see Andrew Mitchell MP praising the Global Fund’s impressive track record.