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Canada Answers the Call of Global Citizens to Step Up the Fight Against AIDS, TB, and Malaria

Canada’s Minister for International Development and Women and Gender Equality Maryam Monsef announced Thursday that Canada is pledging CAD $930.4 million to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria.  

“Canada is committed to maintaining its leadership in supporting the vital work of multilateral platforms such as the Global Fund to address inequalities that prevent the most vulnerable, especially women and girls, from living healthy and productive lives,” she said.

This significant funding contribution — a nearly 16% increase over Canada’s last pledge to the Global Fund in 2016 — shows Canada’s continued resolve to end the epidemics of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis (TB), and malaria globally. It also forms a core part of Canada’s historic 10-year commitment to women's and girls’ health that was announced in June following Global Citizen’s Thrive campaign in partnership with Canadian civil society groups.

“Canada continues to show its commitment to addressing critical issues around ending extreme poverty, such as improving global health,” said Michael Sheldrick, Global Citizen co-founder and vice president of global policy and government affairs. “Canadian leaders from all major parties have consistently demonstrated that they are hearing the voices of Global Citizens who want to see Canada and other nations continue raising the bar on their international assistance towards achieving the Global Goals by 2030.”

The pledge comes in response to nearly 30,000 messages sent by Global Citizens to Minister Monsef and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, asking them to increase Canada’s support for the Global Fund by at least 15%. With this pledge, Canada has exceeded that request, going one step further to help the Global Fund achieve its US $14 billion replenishment goal and save 16 million lives over the next three years. This commitment also highlights the importance of Canada’s international assistance just before the start of the country’s next federal election.

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"The Government of Canada's announcement today is an outstanding demonstration of partnership and leadership in the fight to end HIV, TB and malaria,” Peter Sands, executive director of the Global Fund, said. “The Global Fund is tremendously grateful to the people of Canada for their unwavering support and to the thousands of engaged Global Citizen members who called on Canada to continue its role as a global health leader. The advocacy and commitment of the Global Citizen organization and civil society partners has been instrumental in building the momentum to step up the fight and end these epidemics by 2030.”

HIV/AIDS, TB, and malaria are three of the deadliest diseases the world has ever known. 

But since 2002, more than 27 million lives have been saved thanks to the Global Fund and the donors that support it — like Canada. 

Still, these three diseases continue to disproportionately impact the poorest and most vulnerable people around the world. In 2017 alone, 940,000 people died from AIDS, 1.6 million from TB, and 435,000 from malaria. These diseases pose threats to both global health security and the lives of women and girls. In fact, nearly 1,000 young women and girls are infected with HIV every day.

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All three diseases, however, are preventable and treatable, and the Global Fund has a demonstrated track record of impact.  

Canada’s pledge serves as a strong call for other world leaders to step up the fight when they gather in France in October for the Global Fund’s pledging conference. In addition to its goal of saving 16 million lives, the Global Fund aims to avert 234 million infections and help the world get back on track to end these diseases.  

Canada has been one of the Global Fund’s leading champions since its inception in 2002, serving as its seventh-largest public donor, and has consistently increased funding contributions under both Liberal and Conservative governments. 

In 2016, when the Global Citizen Festival came to Montreal as Canada hosted the Global Fund’s fifth replenishment conference, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau thanked Global Citizens for their actions and called on world leaders to sustain the fight.

“To end these epidemics and to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals, we must do more: more action, more leadership, more smart investments, more innovative thinking, and more commitment,” he said.

The global fight against infectious diseases like HIV/AIDS, TB, and malaria is a key theme of the campaign for this year’s Global Citizen Festival in New York City on Sept. 28. Global Citizens everywhere are calling on world leaders to step up the fight against these diseases by making strong commitments to the Global Fund — Canada’s announcement is likely just the beginning.