The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria “could and should” disburse more than USD22 billion in the next three years to thwart a reverse in strides made in combating the three diseases, World Vision’s Tim Costello says. The question, he notes, is whether donors will step up to this challenge.
Next week, donors will gather in New York to pledge contributions to the Global Fund for the next three years. The fund’s last replenishment conference three years ago mobilized some USD11 billion, according to Costello, who is the chief executive officer of World Vision Australia.
“At a time when the spotlight is on aid effectiveness, the Global Fund has been a stunning success. It is coordinated, it is evidence-based, and it is working,” Costello writes in a piece published in ABC.net.
He noted that the fund has played a key role in providing treatment for 5 million people with HIV and AIDS and preventing approximately 5.7 million deaths.
Australia’s contribution to the fund is about USD170 million per year, Costello said, stressing that the amount would be “a significant increase” from the current level of funding of around USD45 million annually.
“While Australia has been a donor to the Global Fund for several years, our level of support has been less than from many other donor countries. This was initially because of caution about the effectiveness of the new fund and concern that it may not provide sufficient focus on our region,” according to Costello.
He added: “[R]eplenishment of the Global Fund would hand the new [Australian] minority government an early win in the foreign affairs portfolio. But more importantly, it would send a strong signal to the international community that the new Australian Government is committed to an ambitious, compassionate foreign affairs agenda.”