Canada must step up to fight AIDS, TB and Malaria

Anything less will tarnish our leadership role internationally, and let down millions of people

Canada must step up to fight AIDS, TB and Malaria

Canada must step up to fight AIDS, TB and Malaria

In October 2019, the Global Fund to fight AIDS, TB and Malaria will convene its Sixth Replenishment Conference with the goal to raise U.S. $14 billion. The Global Fund has been instrumental in saving 27 million lives since its inception in 2002, and Canada’s contribution and leadership has been critical to its success. Countries have begun to pledge to the Sixth Replenishment, but Canada has not yet announced its commitment.

Here are some of the many reasons that our government should increase our pledge to the Global Fund:

The Global Fund is a central player for the support of Canada’s recently announced Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights Agenda. The Global Fund contributes 70 per cent of all international funding to fight TB, a leading cause of death for girls and women 15 to 44 in low and middle income countries. It contributes 60 per cent of all international funding aimed at prevention and treatment of malaria, which is particularly devastating for pregnant women. And it is a key funder of programs fighting HIV/AIDS, which is now the leading killer of women of reproductive age in low and middle income countries, with 1,000 girls newly infected every day. It also focuses on treatment to prevent the transmission of HIV/AIDS from mothers to babies. The Global Fund supports comprehensive sexuality education and violence prevention programs both in schools and at the community level. And it funds initiatives that engage girls and women in the design and implementation of effective programs, including professional training and capacity-building, as well as leadership.

The Global Fund must raise at least U.S. $14 billion just to stay ahead of the advance of these three epidemics. Canada must step up now to make a substantial pledge of at least 15 per cent above its previous level. Anything less will tarnish our leadership role internationally, and let down millions of people who are counting on the Global Fund for help. Will you write to Prime Minister Trudeau urging him to increase our pledge?

JoAnn Mulhern

Cobble Hill