30 June 2005
Geneva - The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria warmly welcomes today's announcement by Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi of a new pledge of US$ 500 million to the Global Fund. Mr Koizumi's announcement came in a speech to commemorate the fifth anniversary of the Okinawa G8 summit in 2000 where the world's leading nations first put the fight against AIDS, TB and malaria on their agenda. The Global Fund traces its origins to the Okinawa G8 summit.
The new pledge is a significant increase in Japan's contributions to the Global Fund. Prior to today's pledge, Japan had contributed USD$ 341 million since the Global Fund's creation in 2002.
"We are determined to build solidarity with people around the world who suffer from HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis, and we are determined to support the fight to roll back the three diseases," Mr Koizumi said as he announced the new pledge. "Therefore, today, I would like to announce that the Government of Japan has decided to increase its contribution to the Global Fund and will contribute half a billion, namely 500 million US dollars, in the coming years."
The Japanese pledge comes as the Global Fund prepares to conclude a dialogue with donors to secure its resource needs of US$ 7.1 billion for 2006 and 2007. The final pledging conference will take place in London in September, hosted by the British government and chaired by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan. Two preparatory meetings were hosted earlier this year by Sweden and Italy.
"This pledge is very welcome and will encourage other nations to do their part to secure sufficient resources to continue the fight against these diseases," said Dr Carol Jacobs, the Chair of the Global Fund Board. "There are already millions of people around the world who depend on money from the Global Fund to stay alive or to protect their children from these deadly diseases. We are very pleased that Japan wants to play a greater role in financing this good work."
The Japanese pledge follows recent announcements from France, Australia and Canada to increase their pledges.
"Japan is setting a great example for other large countries," said Professor Richard Feachem, the Executive Director of the Global Fund. "We have a global responsibility to drive back these diseases and keep the promises the rich countries have made to the millions who live in the shadow of these diseases around the world. Japan has shown it is taking this responsibility seriously."