The UK is facing criticism for its decision to reduce the amount of money it donates to the Global Fund, which exists to fight three of the world’s deadliest diseases: AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.
Since being established by the G7 in 2002, the organisation is believed to have saved 50 million lives. Just last year, it gave lifesaving antiretroviral therapy for HIV to 23 million people and helped 5.3 million with treatment and care for tuberculosis.
In fact, the Global Fund’s efforts have helped reduce the combined death rate from the aforementioned diseases by half in the countries it invests in. “The UK and others founded the Global Fund because we refused to accept the loss of millions of lives every year to preventable and treatable diseases,” said Andrew Mitchell, the Minister for Development, in the UK government’s announcement of a further £1bn in aid on 14 November. “Countries with better health systems and healthier people are more likely to be stable and prosperous and this fund gives hope and opportunity to millions who would otherwise suffer.
Malaria kills a child nearly every minute of every day. These are wholly preventable deaths, and the UK is dedicated to preventing them.” The government said the new commitment will provide two million people living with HIV with antiretroviral therapy and more than one million with tuberculosis treatment and care.