20 April 2021
The Global Fund warmly welcomed the announcement by the Netherlands of a contribution of €52 million to the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator – a groundbreaking global collaboration to accelerate development, production, and equitable access to COVID-19 tests, treatments, and vaccines.
Of the new funds, €12 million will be channeled through the Global Fund to strengthen its response to the COVID-19 pandemic while protecting gains made against HIV, tuberculosis, and malaria over the last two decades. The rest, €40 million, will be invested in the purchase of vaccines through COVAX – the vaccines pillar of the ACT-Accelerator. This latest commitment follows €85 million the Netherlands has contributed to the global response to COVID-19 since the pandemic began, bringing its total investment to date to €137 million.
The funding channeled through the Global Fund will, among other things, strengthen heath systems, help increase access to critically needed diagnostics as well as expand provision of personal protective equipment (PPE) for health workers. A recent report published by the Global Fund found that only 45% of health facilities surveyed across 32 countries in Africa and Asia had sufficient PPE and that only 11% of health facilities in Africa had capacity to carry out rapid diagnostics.
“As COVID-19 continues to evolve, claim lives, overwhelm health systems and disrupt economies and societies around the world, we are grateful to the Netherlands for its support to global efforts to respond to the pandemic,” said Peter Sands, Executive Director of the Global Fund. “Only by working together can we mitigate the direct – and indirect – impact of COVID-19 on those most at risk.”
“To control and contain COVID-19 worldwide, we must address all four pillars of the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator,” said Sigrid Kaag, Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation of the Netherlands. “We need to ensure access to COVID-19 vaccines for all countries, rich and poor alike. But we also need strong national health systems to ensure that all essential products reach those most in need.”
The Global Fund has already deployed nearly US$1 billion to fight COVID-19 and mitigate the impact on HIV, tuberculosis, and malaria in more than 100 countries. The Netherlands is a longstanding supporter of the Global Fund’s fight against HIV, tuberculosis, and malaria and in building resilient and sustainable systems for health, investing more than €1.025 billion to date. With the new contribution, the Netherlands reaffirms its strong support to multilateralism as a dependable way of solving the world’s greatest challenges.