Japan’s commitment will contribute to saving one million lives, adding momentum to the Switzerland-based organisation's goal of saving 16 million lives.

By Ian Horswill

Posted on June 25, 2019

Former Standard Chartered Bank CEO Peter Sands has his hands out as head of the Global Fund, which is seeking US$20 billion to fight three diseases – AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.

Japan has become the second country to come knocking at his door after Portugal committed US$855,000 over three years, Reliefweb reported.

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced Japan’s contribution of US$840 million to The Global Fund’s Sixth Replenishment at the meeting of the Sustainable Development Goals Promotion Headquarters on June 21.

The contribution is a five per cent increase when compared to the previous three-year period. Japan’s commitment will contribute to saving one million lives, adding momentum to the Switzerland-based organisation’s goal of saving 16 million lives overall.

“Once again, Japan is leading the charge in efforts to help the world achieve Universal Health Coverage,” said Peter Sands, the fund’s Executive Director.

“We are tremendously grateful to the people of Japan and to Prime Minister Abe for the unwavering support for the fight against HIV, TB and malaria. Together, we can end these epidemics and achieve health for all by 2030.”

Global Fund chief executive Peter Sands
The Global Fund Executive Director Peter Sands.

Read next: New hope as third HIV patient cured by transplant

Japan introduced infectious diseases to the G8 Kyushu-Okinawa Summit’s agenda in 2000, which paved the way for The Global Fund’s establishment in 2002. Since then, Japan has been a strong supporter of The Global Fund and is its fifth largest contributor.

The Global Fund set a target for raising at least US$14 billion for its next three-year period of funding, outlining how the funds will help save 16 million lives, cut the mortality rate from HIV, TB and malaria in half, and build stronger health systems by 2023. In addition, every US dollar invested in The Global Fund will have a return in broader economic gains of US$19.

The Global Fund is seeking at least US$250 million from Australia over the next three years.

The fund’s Sixth Replenishment Conference will be hosted by French President Emmanuel Macron in Lyon, France, on 10 October 2019.