By Godson Ikiebey- 

The government of France, led by President Emmanuel Macron; the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, represented by Bill Gates; the US government and other Global Fund donors have pledged $14.02 billion to end malaria, HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis by 2030.

This is the biggest amount ever raised for a multilateral health organization, and the largest amount by the Global Fund.

According to Global Fund, the funds will help save 16 million lives and end the epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria by 2030.

Peter Sands, Global Fund chief executive, had initially annouced the optimistic target of $14 billion, which was going to be far above what most donors had budgeted.

But President Macron called on donors to increase their commitments by at least 15 percent, as he raised France’s donation by 20 percent to $1.42 billion, $60 million more than previously announced.

The US Congress approved a commitment to give a total of $4.7 billion over three years, while Britain, despite Brexit challenges, pledged £1.4 billion, a 16% increase from initial budget.

Germany pledged €1 billion, a 17.6% increase; Canada pledged CAD930 million, a 16% increase, the European Union pledged €550 million, a 16% increase; Japan contributed US$840 million.

Further expanding its donor base, the Global Fund also welcomed 20 new and returning public donors.

Global Fund also said private donors pledged more than $1 billion for the first time ever, an extraordinary achievement led by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s pledge of US$760 million.

Some African countries also participated in the historic fundraiser, with frontliners like Nigeria pledging $12 million, South Africa $10 million, Kenya $6 million, Zambia $5.5 million.

From the middle east and Asia, Qatar pledged $50 million, Saudi Arabia $30 million, and India $22 million.

During the fundraiser hosted by the French government in Lyon, Gates, co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, said “Today’s Global Fund replenishment result is an incredible achievement. 

“This is a big day in the history of AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria – and one that no one expected two decades ago when the diseases were at their peak.

“Thank you to all the donors who increased their contributions. We hope others are inspired to follow their lead and support the Global Fund to continue its life-saving work”. 

Major recipients of the fund will be Nigeria, Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mozambique and Zimbabwe, where the issues being addressed are prevalent.

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