The Global Fund’s Fifth Replenishment campaign received a significant boost with the announcement by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that Canada is pledging CAD 785 million (USD 608 million) for the 2017-2019 period and will host the Fifth Replenishment Conference in Montreal on 16 September 2016.
Previous replenishment conferences have been hosted by the United Kingdom, Germany, and the United States.
Canada’s pledge is a 20% increase on its previous pledge of CAD 600 million during the fourth replenishment. Prime Minister Trudeau during his announcement in Ottawa, said that Canada had a “duty to lead by example on the international stage.” He also said, "this is an historic opportunity for Canada and the world. 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.”
By hosting the replenishment conference, Canada will play a major role in lobbying other global leaders to reach the $13 billion replenishment target. Canada has been a consistent supporter of The Global Fund since 2002, having increased its funding commitments during each replenishment campaign. Canada has contributed CAD 2.1 billion since the the inception of The Global Fund.
The Prime Minister made the announcement accompanied by the executive director of The Global Fund, Mark Dybul and Melinda Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, at a town hall–style event in Ottawa with representatives from local schools and universities and a number of Canadian organizations active in international development and youth engagement in attendance.
Dr Dybul said that “Canada is demonstrating outstanding leadership in global health and development. Prime Minister Trudeau’s insight and his government’s commitment to global partnerships and cooperation will help save millions of lives and create opportunity and prosperity for countless more.”
At this event, Prime Minister Trudeau also gave his support to the The Global Fund’s End It. For Good social media campaign. The campaign is targeted to, and driven by, young people to raise awareness about HIV, TB, and malaria. The campaign will culminate in a concert in Montreal in September as part of the fifth replenishment campaign.
On hand to support the youth-driven social media campaign was Loyce Maturu from Zimbabwe and a HIV/TB survivor, GFAN speaker, and youth advocate. Maturu recounted her experiences of losing her mother and younger brother to AIDS and TB in 2002. Learning that she also had contracted HIV and TB at 12 years of age was “one of the most painful things to know” and led to a period of severe depression. Through support of a Global Fund–financed clinic in Zimbawe, Maturu is a survivor and now a global spokesperson in support of the fight against the three diseases.
At the announcement in Ottawa, Melinda Gates threw her support behind efforts to address more effectively the inequality and discrimination that increases risk of infectious diseases for adolescent girls and young women, stating “It’s [The Global Fund] playing a key role in tackling gender disparities and ensuring that millions of women and girls have an opportunity to lead a healthy and productive life.”
Joanne Carter, Steering Committee Chair for the Global Fund Advocates Network (GFAN) and Executive Director of RESULTS USA, welcomed Canada’s announcement. “Today, Canada has cemented its role as a true global leader in health. As we now look to the pledging conference later this year, world leaders should seize the chance to make bold commitments to the fight against these diseases.”