The UK is the first country to make a long-term commitment to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria by committing £1 billion up to 2015 in the push to achieve the Millennium Development Goals

Douglas Alexander, Secretary of State for International Development, announced a commitment of £1 billion up to 2015 to the external link Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria (GFATM). As part of this commitment, the UK will provide £360 million for 2008-2010, which is a 20% increase on our current funding. Making sure that more gets done Douglas Alexander said: “The UK is the first country to make a long-term commitment to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria in the push to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. We recognise that more needs to be done to meet the MDGs, in particular to achieve the health MDGs. By pledging £1 billion over the next eight years, the UK will help the Global Fund to provide poor countries with long term financial commitments as they work to reduce the death and destruction of these three diseases”. “Every year 3 million people die from AIDS, 2 million people die from TB and 1 million die from malaria. By keeping our G8 promises, we will be the second largest donor of development assistance in the G8 by 2010. We want to ensure that every pound we spend is used to the best possible effect, so our long term commitment is linked to good performance in the coming years. The Fund will need to become more efficient and speed up the way in which resources are put to work for the benefit of poor people.”

In five years, the Global Fund has become one of the main ways in which the international community provides funding to combat TB and Malaria. So far it has:

  • prevented nearly 2 million deaths through providing AIDS treatment for over 1 million people;
  • provided TB treatment for nearly 3 million people;
  • Distributed 30 million insecticide-treated bed nets for the prevention of malaria worldwide.

The Prime Minister set out the global challenge to meet the MDGs and make poverty history when he addressed the United Nations in July. Overall the UK spends £800 million a year on improving health in developing countries, and is the second largest donor in the world in the fight to tackle HIV/AIDS. Giving money to the Global Fund is just one of the many ways in which the UK provides support for health in developing countries in order to meet our G8 commitments.

We also support innovative financing mechanisms such as the external link International Finance Facility for Immunisation (IFFIm) which aims to raise $4 billion over 10 years, and whose first bond issue has already raised over $1 billion to tackle vaccine-preventable diseases.

The UK has also made a long term commitment to external link UNITAID, the International Drugs Purchasing Facility which, subject to UNITAID's performance, will amount to some £790 million ($1.6 billion) over 20 years. This will help secure essential AIDS, TB and malaria medicines for people in poor countries. As members of the UNITAID Board we have approved UNITAID contributions to GFATM programmes totalling $144 million.