The Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria has announced that Canada is increasing its commitment for the three-year replenishment cycle that starts in 2017 to C$785 million ($605 million).
Announced by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at a town hall event, the commitment represents a 20 percent increase from the C$650 million ($502 million) Canada pledged to the fund three years ago. Trudeau also announced that his country will host a September 2016 pledging conference in Montreal where the fund hopes to raise $13 billion in support of efforts to save, by 2019, an additional eight million lives and avert an additional three hundred million new infections. Canada has committed more than C$2.1 billion ($1.62 billion) to the Global Fund since its creation in 2002.
During the town hall event, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation co-chair Melinda Gates highlighted the need to invest effectively to address the inequality and discrimination that puts adolescent girls and young women at increased risk for infectious diseases. Worldwide, HIV disproportionately affects adolescent girls and young women, more than seven thousand of whom are infected every week.
"This is an historic opportunity for Canada and the world," said Trudeau. "By fast-tracking investments and building global solidarity, we can bring an end to three devastating epidemics — AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria — that have tragic and far-reaching impacts on the world’s most vulnerable people."