Norway is to increase its contribution to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria by NOK 75 million, making the total Norwegian contribution NOK 450 million per year. This is equivalent to an increase of 20%, and it means that Norway will donate almost NOK 1.4 billion to the Fund over the next three years.
“The Global Fund is an effective mechanism for the joint financing of programmes to combat HIV/AIDS in developing countries. The Fund’s investments help to improve health conditions for mothers and children, and it has also achieved impressive results in other areas of central importance to Norwegian foreign and development policy,” Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre commented.
“Despite the increased pressure on development funds at this time, we have decided to increase Norway’s contribution to the Fund by 20% because we have seen that its work is producing results,” Mr Støre said.
The Global Fund currently provides two-thirds of international funding for anti-tuberculosis and malaria programmes, and one fifth of international funding for programmes to combat HIV/AIDS. The Fund finances almost 60% of AIDS treatment worldwide. It also supports preventive measures, and works to strengthen developing countries’ health systems.
“In many ways, the Fund’s work reflects the great gender equality struggle of our times. In southern Africa, the HIV infection rate among young women is on average about three times higher than among men of the same age, and half the deaths among women of childbearing age are due to HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. The consequences for the young women of today, and for the countries affected, can be catastrophic. The Fund’s work is therefore crucial, and our additional contribution reflects this,” Mr Støre commented.
Norway’s increased contribution has been announced prior to the Fund’s third replenishment and pledging conference, to be held in New York in October.
“The resources the Global Fund has at its disposal are of decisive importance to achieving the health Millennium Development Goals. We hope that other countries will follow suit and increase their allocations to the Fund,” Mr Støre said.
The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria is a partnership between governments, civil society, the private sector and affected communities. Norway has been a donor since the Fund was created in 2002, and it is the largest contributor in per capita terms.