28 February 2005
Geneva, Switzerland – Geneva, Switzerland – The Global Fund to Fight HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria applauds the announcement by the Government of Canada that it will allocate $140 million Canadian dollars (approximately US$112 million) in support of the Global Fund for 2005. The renewed commitment of funding, to be administered by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), represents an amount more than double the Canadian contribution to the Global Fund in 2004 (US$50 million).
The Global Fund allocation is part of $340 million Canadian dollars in this year’s budget allotted to global health initiatives, as part of Canada’s commitment to the UN Millennium Development Goals. Overall, the announcement by the Canadian Government calls for an increase of $3.4 billion (approximately US$274 billion) in the nation’s support for development over the next five years, with the target of ramping up Canadian international aid to twice its current level by 2010.
“Canada’s increased contribution is particularly welcome, as this is a year where we face extraordinary challenges,” Richard Feachem, the Global Fund’s Executive Director said. “To meet our current commitments, we will need US$2.3 billion in 2005, and by 2007 we estimate our financial needs at US$3.6 billion. We encourage other countries to follow Canada’s lead.”
Canada was among a small group of countries which took the initiative in 2001 to create the Global Fund. Canada sits on the Global Fund’s Board and is an active partner in developing and improving the Global Fund’s structure and performance. It is the first major donor to pledge increased support for the Global Fund to Fight HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria for 2005.
Canada’s Federal Budget, which was announced on February 25th, also places strong emphasis on international aid to Africa as the region where alleviating poverty and disease is most needed. Global Fund grants since 2002 reflect this priority as well, as more than 60 percent of the US$3.1 billion allocated to date has been to grants benefiting countries in Africa.
Canada’s continuing support of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria through a substantially increased allocation in their 2005 budget will enable the Global Fund to continue ‘taking the bull by the horns’ in an aggressive approach to the challenge of these three pandemics.