11 March 2021
GENEVA – The Global Fund applauds the U.S. government for approving US$3.5 billion in emergency funding for the Global Fund’s effort to fight the COVID-19 pandemic in low- and middle-income countries. This unprecedented support will rapidly accelerate the Global Fund’s response to the pandemic, which is critical to save lives and protect the gains our partnership has made against HIV, TB and malaria over the last two decades. In the last year, COVID-19 has caused widespread disruption to HIV, TB and malaria service delivery. The Global Fund’s COVID-19 response is mitigating the impact of the crisis on the three diseases, protecting health workers and reinforcing health systems.
The new funding will support low- and middle-income countries to rapidly expand testing capacity and ensure health care workers are adequately protected with personal protective equipment (PPE). The investment will support countries to contain the virus and its variants, ensure those infected have access to care and treatment (including adequate oxygen supplies) and prepare for successful vaccine delivery. It will save many lives, reduce suffering and help economies to reopen safely.
“We are tremendously thankful to the Biden-Harris Administration and to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer for their long-standing and exceptional leadership in global health,” said Peter Sands, Executive Director of the Global Fund. “This bold support will save many lives and reinvigorate economies around the world. We are hopeful that other donors will follow the lead of the United States and use emergency funding to support efforts by the Global Fund and other ACT-Accelerator partners to fight COVID-19 and deliver health security for all.”
As one of the lead multilateral agencies working to procure and distribute COVID-19 tests, treatments and PPE to protect health workers, the Global Fund is an ideal partner for the United States in the global fight against COVID-19. The Global Fund’s deep experience in working with civil society, communities, faith leaders, the private sector and governments makes it responsive to local needs and enables it to deploy COVID-19 resources swiftly and effectively at scale worldwide. The Global Fund also has robust and long-standing partnerships with the U.S. State Department, USAID, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
With the new funding, the Global Fund will build on its long track record of success in preventing and responding to infectious diseases and leverage its global network of partners in low- and middle-income countries to accelerate the response to COVID-19. The Global Fund has already deployed nearly $1 billion to fight COVID-19 in more than 100 countries. Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Global Fund was already one of the largest providers of grants to low- and middle-income countries to strengthen health security.
The Global Fund is a founding partner of the ACT-Accelerator, the global collaboration to ensure the accelerated launch and equitable deployment of tools to fight COVID-19, which the United States joined at the end of January. The Global Fund plays an essential leadership role in this global partnership, co-leading the Diagnostics Pillar with the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND) and the Health Systems Connector with the World Bank and WHO. The Global Fund is also a key partner in the supply workstream of the Therapeutics Pillar alongside Unitaid and the Wellcome Trust.
The new funding to the Global Fund is part of a nearly US$11 billion global COVID-19 response package that is part of the American Rescue Plan Act that President Biden signed into law today. This builds on the recent U.S. investment of US$4 billion in COVAX, the ACT-Accelerator’s Vaccines Pillar, which aims to provide COVID-19 vaccines to low- and middle-income countries and is co-led by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), and WHO.
The Global Fund calls on other donor nations to follow the U.S. example and commit funding from their emergency or stimulus spending to ACT-Accelerator partners so as to enable a rapid scale-up of the global response. Given the escalating pace and spread of viral mutations, it is clearer than ever that it is in the direct health security and economic interests of high-income countries to support low- and middle-income countries in rapidly reducing COVID-19 infection rates. International Monetary Fund analysis suggests bringing a swifter end to the crisis would be worth almost US$9 trillion to the global economy. To end the pandemic, and thus save millions of lives and restore the global economy, we must accelerate the equitable deployment of tests, treatments, vaccines and PPE so that all countries have the tools they need to fight COVID-19. Against this formidable virus, no one is safe until everyone is safe.