23 May 2008
Tokyo – The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria enthusiastically welcomes today’s announcement by Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda of Japan of a new contribution worth US$ 560 million for the coming years from 2009 onwards.
This pushes Japan’s total contributions to the Global Fund to nearly US$ 1.5 billion. Last February, Japan already contributed US$ 184 million for 2008. The country is now the third largest donor to the Global Fund.
Prime Minister Fukuda made the announcement in Tokyo at an International Symposium jointly organized by the Global Fund, Friends of the Global Fund Japan and the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, with the theme "From Okinawa to Toyako: Dealing with Communicable Diseases as Global Human Security Threats". This symposium precedes two key official events which are being held in Japan this year: the Fourth Tokyo International Conference for African Development (TICAD IV) at the end of May and the G8 Leaders’ Summit in July.
“Japan has been a very strong partner of the Global Fund since its creation. This new and significant contribution proves that Japan continues to see the Global Fund as an effective vehicle to provide essential prevention and care to millions of people affected by AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria,” said Dr Michel Kazatchkine, Executive Director of the Global Fund. “It also confirms Japan's strong commitment to development and to reducing poverty. These new resources will help to save millions of lives, strengthen health systems in developing nations and bring the world hope that further substantial impact against the three diseases will be achieved in the coming years.”
With Japan’s new contribution, the Global Fund has to date raised more than US$ 20 billion to invest in treatment and prevention programs fighting HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria around the world.
The creation of the Global Fund was called for by G8 nations following the 2000 summit in Okinawa, Japan. This year, Japan is again hosting the 2008 G8 summit, this time in Toyako, where development and health issues are again expected to be high on the agenda.
"Ahead of the 2008 G8 meeting, Japan is setting a great example for other large nations", said Rajat Gupta, Chair of the Global Fund Board. "We have a global responsibility to stem the spread of these three diseases which still claim the lives of six million people annually, leaving many others in poverty. Japan is showing the world that it is taking this responsibility seriously."
Since its creation in 2002, he Global Fund has become the main source of finance for programs to fight AIDS, TB and malaria, with approved funding of US$ 10.7 billion for more than 550 programs in 136 countries. So far, programs supported by the Global Fund have averted more than 2 million deaths by providing AIDS treatment for 1.4 million people, TB treatment for 3.3 million people, and by distributing 46 million insecticide-treated bed nets for the prevention of malaria worldwide.
Read the opening remarks made at this event: