News Releases

Republic of Korea Reaffirms Its Commitment to the Fight Against TB and Malaria

27 August 2019

SEOUL - The Republic of Korea’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs in collaboration with the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria today hosted partners and advocates in a high-level symposium on Korea’s enhanced engagement and leadership in the fight to end malaria and tuberculosis as epidemics.

The high-level symposium brought together global and regional partners from civil society, country governments and the private sector, including the RBM Partnership to End Malaria, the Stop TB Partnership, Malaria No More and Korean Advocates for Global Health. The dialogue focused on Korean expertise and innovation to end epidemics and opportunities for Korean leadership in global health, and the global partnership to end TB and malaria as epidemics.

“The Global Fund, which connects governments, civil society, technical agencies, private sectors, and people affected by the diseases all over the world, is a unique and indispensable partnership organization in the global health sector,” said H.E. Ambassador Lee Taeho, Korean Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs. “I wish the Global Fund every success in mobilizing the targeted resources. Korea plans to fulfill its due responsibility by significantly increasing its pledge to the Global Fund for 2020-2022.”

Since joining the Global Fund in 2004, Korea has contributed US$40.6 million and provided over US$286 million worth of health products, making it the Global Fund’s sixth largest supplier of essential health products, and the third largest supplier of diagnostic tests.

“In the Greater Mekong the threat of drug-resistance threatens to reverse our progress against malaria, and in many countries in Asia, the rise of drug-resistant TB is a growing threat to global health security,” said Peter Sands, Executive Director of the Global Fund. “Korea is an innovative leader in global health and their increased engagement in the fight against these epidemics could be game-changing for Asia.”

Korea’s contribution to the Global Fund is raised through an air ticket solidarity levy, making Korea a leader in innovative financing for health among G20 countries. The 1,000 won (US $0.95) levy, known as the Global Poverty Eradication Tax, was introduced in 2007, primarily to contribute financial resources to fight poverty and disease in low-income countries.

“Korea's innovation, leadership, and financial resources are critical to ending malaria. Whether on the Korean Peninsula, in Southeast Asia, or in Sub-Saharan Africa, we must renew our commitment to finish the job,” said Josh Blumenfeld, a Managing Director at Malaria No More, who moderated today’s symposium.

Responding to the threat of increasing drug resistance in the Greater Mekong region, the Global Fund is investing more than US$244 million through the Regional Artemisinin-resistance Initiative (RAI) – Global Fund’s largest regional grant –to accelerate malaria elimination in the region. The Global Fund is also the largest external source of financing for the drug-resistant TB response in low- and middle-income countries and is investing to accelerate care and treatment for populations disproportionately affected by drug-resistant TB, particularly in Asia, which shoulders much of the world’s burden of drug-resistant TB.

The Global Fund set a target for raising at least US$14 billion for the next three-year period. The funds will help save 16 million lives, cut the mortality rate from HIV, TB and malaria in half, and build stronger health systems by 2023. In addition, every US dollar invested in the Global Fund will have a return in broader economic gains of US$19. The Global Fund’s Sixth Replenishment Conference will be hosted by French President Emmanuel Macron in Lyon, France, on 9-10 October 2019.