I would like to update the House on the UK’s contribution to the Sixth Replenishment of the Global Fund as announced by my right honourable friend the Prime Minister at the G20 Osaka Summit.
The UK pioneered Universal Health Coverage through the establishment of the National Health Service and we continue to host many of the best medical scientists and practitioners in the world. Good health is a foundation for development; it enables people to go to school, go to work, and contribute to the economy. It is firmly in the UK’s national interest to work with countries to promote good health, to prevent and respond to disease outbreaks, and to contribute to the fight against antimicrobial resistance.
More than 2.5 million people died from AIDS-related illnesses, tuberculosis and malaria in 2017. Every day nearly 1,000 adolescent girls and young women in Africa become infected with HIV. A child still dies of malaria every two minutes. Tuberculosis is still one of the world’s top ten causes of death. The progress made so far is being threatened by growing drug and insecticide resistance, wavering political will, and the difficulties of meeting the needs of neglected and vulnerable populations.
Tackling these challenges is essential to achieving Sustainable Development Goal 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages. The UK’s support to the Global Fund is an important contribution towards achieving this goal. I am proud of the UK’s commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals and this July we look forward to setting out our progress through our first Voluntary National Review. The UK will also support the High-Level meeting on Universal Health Coverage at the UN General Assembly in September and host the replenishment of Gavi, the vaccine alliance in 2020.
The Global Fund is an extremely successful public-private partnership which was rated as one of the top three performers in the UK’s Multilateral Development Review. This partnership has so far helped to save 27 million lives, reducing deaths from AIDS-related illness, tuberculosis and malaria by one third in the countries where it invests. Joining forces with other donors to negotiate low prices for life saving health technologies, the Global Fund has saved $855 million in procurement over the last five years. It is the leading international financer of the fight against multi-drug resistant tuberculosis, a disease which causes a third of all deaths due to antimicrobial resistance.
I am pleased that the UK will pledge up to £1.4 billion to the Sixth Replenishment of the Global Fund which will be hosted by France in October. The UK’s investment will help to:
- Provide life-saving antiretroviral therapy for more than 3.3 million people living with HIV;
- Support treatment and care for 2.3 million people with tuberculosis;
- Distribute 92 million mosquito nets to protect children and families from malaria;
- Make countries’ health systems stronger, promote global health security and tackle antimicrobial resistance.
I am particularly concerned that the number of malaria cases is at risk of increasing due to growing resistance to our current tools and the potential impacts of population growth and climate change. I have agreed to double the value of private sector contributions to the Global Fund for malaria up to a maximum of £200 million, providing £2 for every £1 contributed by the private sector. This will help us to meet our target to spend £500 million a year on malaria over the five years from 2016-17 to 2020-21. Our previous malaria match funds have so far raised almost £200 million in additional private sector contributions to the Global Fund.
The UK pledge to the previous Global Fund replenishment included, for the first time, a £90 million published performance agreement which set out areas where the Global Fund needed to do even more. I am pleased to report that the Global Fund has performed well against these priorities, including by making significant savings. This has enabled us to release all performance payments on time and in full.
For this replenishment I have agreed a £100 million performance agreement with the Global Fund. This sets out the priorities for further improvement: working with governments to integrate Global Fund programmes into national systems and strengthening these systems to support achievement of Universal Health Coverage; a greater focus on disease prevention; strengthening the focus on the poorest, most vulnerable and marginalised, including women and girls; and antimicrobial resistance and global health security. These are all critical to the Global Fund’s long-term success. Each year my officials will speak with the Global Fund's senior management to review their progress on these critical areas and make sure that we are working together as effectively as possible.
A successful replenishment will help the Global Fund partnership to save 16 million lives, avert 234 million cases or new infections, and strengthen countries’ health systems to accelerate progress towards universal health coverage. To reach the Global Fund’s ambitious target of at least $14 billion and get the world back on track to end the epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria by 2030, as called for in the Sustainable Development Goals, everyone must step up.
We will use our early decision to encourage other donors, new and existing, to make ambitious commitments. Meanwhile our commitment to a new £200 million malaria match fund is an invitation to the private sector to contribute to and play an essential role in delivering the Sustainable Development Goals. Ultimately, though, protecting the health of citizens is the responsibility of national governments. We expect them to play their part and further increase their public spending on health.
I am aware of the significant degree of interest in this issue from members across the House, whose advice and support on this issue have been invaluable for the Government. For the convenience of Members, I am depositing a copy of the performance agreement in the libraries of both Houses.
This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: