22 September 2010
Geneva, 23 September 2010 - Prime Minister Naoto Kan of Japan on Wednesday committed US$ 800 million for the coming years to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, signalling a major increase in his country’s support for international efforts to combat the three diseases.
The increase, announced at the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) summit in New York, follows a US$ 560 million multi-year pledge made by Japan in 2008.
Japan is one of the top 5 donors to the Global Fund. Today’s announcement takes Japan’s total pledge to the Global Fund to US$ 2.09 billion since it was created in 2002.
“Japan is to be commended for making a decision which shows its determination to continue playing a leading role in the campaign to fight the three diseases,” said United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who chairs the Global Fund’s Replenishment for 2011-2013. “The replenishment of the Global Fund is a test of global solidarity. With this announcement by Prime Minister Kan, Japan has shown strong solidarity with the women, men and children around the world who are most in need of treatment, protection and care.”
Despite the challenging global economic environment, the contribution announced today is the largest ever financial pledge by Japan to fight the three diseases. The pledge underscores Japan’s longstanding commitment to seeing access to treatment and protection against disease as a right for all, regardless of geography or income.
Japan led efforts to scale up the fight against infectious diseases during its Presidency of the G8 in 2000 which led to the Creation of the Global Fund a year later. The country is represented on the Global Fund’s Board.
Japan’s decision to increase its support follows an announcement by France on Monday to boost its own financial commitment to the Global Fund.
“Through this commitment of additional resources to the Global Fund, once more, Japan has shown great generosity to the people suffering from the threat of infectious diseases,” said Prof. Michel Kazatchkine, Executive Director of the Global Fund. “Through the nearly 6 million lives saved and the progress made during the past few years, we have shown how it is possible to drive back the pandemics to a point where they no longer threaten millions of people and slow countries’ development.”
The Global Fund – which finances programs based on proposals submitted from 145 eligible applicant countries – has outlined funding scenarios of between US$13 billion and US$20 billion needed for the coming three years. Given the Global Fund’s large share of global financing for health – it channels two thirds of all international funding for combatting malaria and TB and nearly a quarter of funding for fighting AIDS, as well as being the largest multi-lateral channel for efforts to strengthen health systems – the success or failure to secure new funding for the coming three years will have a significant impact on the world’s ability to achieve the health-related Millennium Development Goals by 2015.
“This is a pivotal year,” said Professor Kazatchkine. “It’s the year where we will know whether we will collectively reach or fail in our efforts to reach the MDGs. Despite the difficult global economic climate, we need long-standing donor countries to increase their contributions to the Global Fund significantly, new donors to come to the table with pledges, and to expand our efforts to secure additional, innovative ways of funding international health efforts.
More than 40 donor countries, private foundations, and corporations will meet in New York on October 5 to replenish the Global Fund’s resources for the 2011-2013 period.