Sweden Steps Up Fight Against Epidemics With Strong Pledge to Global Fund

Sweden pledged to increase its support to the Global Fund by 14%, committing some SEK 2.85 billion (US $290 million) over the next three years, one of the latest in a line of donors to step to the call of the Global Fund’s Sixth Replenishment Conference, coming up next week on October 9-10 in Lyon.

The pledge was announced Thursday by Sweden’s Minister for International Development Cooperation, Peter Eriksson.

“In recent years, we have seen a tougher climate and dwindling interest in women’s rights, and particularly sexual and reproductive rights. For this reason, Sweden’s contribution to the Global Fund is particularly important,” said Eriksson in a Global Fund press release. “Through this increased contribution, Sweden will remain a strong donor to global action for health. And with this, we will also have increased expectations and demands that the Global Fund will deliver in Sweden’s priority areas, including preventive efforts, equitable health, human rights and sexual and reproductive health and rights.”

Peter Sands, Executive Director of the Global Fund, commended Sweden’s commitment saying: “Sweden’s investments in global health have contributed immensely in the fight against HIV, TB and malaria and in building strong health systems.”

The Swedish announcement follows recent pledges by Norway’s Prime Minister Erna Solberg to give NOK2.02 billion to the Sixth Replenishment, and Spain’s commitment for EUR100 million Euros. Five private sector partners announced new pledges for the Global Fund’s Sixth Replenishment during the World Economic Forum on Africa on September 4-6 in Cape Town.

Natalie Portman introduces Peter Sands and Erna Solberg at the Global Citizens Festival 2019

Meanwhile activity in the lead up to the conference has intensified with high-powered celebrities such as, Annie Lennox, Diane Kruger, Natalie Portman and Penélope Cruz launching a petition on change.org in an open letter addressed to today’s 7-year-olds, calling on the world to commit to end AIDS, TB and malaria by 2030 – when today’s children become adults. Portman also appeared live on stage calling on the world to step up the fight and support the Global Fund at the annual Global Citizen concert in New York on September 28.

The most recent Global Fund Results Report 2019 credits the partnership with saving 32 million lives from the three leading diseases that it is pledged to combat – HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria – since its inception in 2002.

The Global Fund’s Sixth Replenishment pledging conference will be hosted by French President Emmanuel Macron in Lyon, France on October 9-10 2019, with the goal to raise US $14 billion for the fund’s next three-year cycle.

At the United Nations General Assembly in New York last week, the Global Fund also joined 11 other major UN and international health agencies to launch a joint action plan, Stronger Collaboration, Better Health: Global Action Plan for Healthy Lives and Well-being for All, to better support countries to accelerate progress towards the health-related Sustainable Development Goals. This followed the landmark commitment by UN member states to scale up efforts to achieve universal health coverage by 2030.

Image Credits: Global Citizen.

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