High- and low-income countries alike last week joined in pledging $14.25 billion to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, in the largest single fundraising push for global health. www.science.org/content/article/news-glance-earth-science-satellites-global-fund-s-haul-and-neptune-s-rings?
Supporters said the sum was necessary to help reverse setbacks in combating those diseases caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, although the amount fell short of the Global Fund’s goal of $18 billion. The pledged amount may increase if Italy and the United Kingdom make contributions; changes this month in their governments delayed expected commitments. Many of the 45 countries that did pledge money, including low-income nations in Africa, upped their pledges by 30% or more despite inflation and other economic pressures. If achieved, the $18 billion could save 20 million lives and avoid 450 million new infections, the Global Fund estimates. The United States made the single largest commitment, up to $6 billion, but Congress must approve the money. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation made the largest private pledge, $912 million.
Lalita Panicker is consulting editor, views, Hindustan Times, New Delhi