GENEVA – The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria welcomed the decision by the Netherlands to contribute an additional €15 million to the Global Fund's COVID-19 Response Mechanism, on top of the €12 million committed in April 2021.
The new funding will help strengthen formal and community systems for health in low- and middle-income countries, protect front-line health workers with training and personal protective equipment (PPE) and mitigate the knock-on impact of COVID-19 on programs to fight HIV, TB and malaria.
The contribution is part of a broader €95 million commitment made by the Netherlands to the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator – a groundbreaking collaboration of global partners to accelerate the development, production and equitable access to COVID-19 tests, treatments, PPE and vaccines.
“The Netherlands is responding superbly to our call to provide a global, sustained and comprehensive response to beat COVID-19,” said Peter Sands, Executive Director of the Global Fund. “The Delta variant has demonstrated that vaccines alone won’t defeat this virus. We must combine vaccination with continued public health measures and the best treatment we can provide to continue to save lives and build a stronger foundation for pandemic preparedness and response.”
“Poor countries are hit hardest by the pandemic,” said Tom de Bruijn, Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation of the Netherlands. “Even before corona, hospitals were struggling with lack of capacity and had to bear the burden of other health crises, such as the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Women and girls are the first to miss out on essential healthcare. These factors allow infectious diseases to spread quickly. That is why this additional contribution is also in the interest of the Netherlands. I urge other countries to do the same. Only by strengthening healthcare systems in poorer countries can we make it through this pandemic.”
The Netherlands is the tenth largest public donor to the Global Fund, with a total contribution of €1.03 billion to date. The country pledged €156 million for 2020-2022 at the Global Fund’s Sixth Replenishment Conference, and €27 million to the Global Fund through the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator (ACT-A).
As of September 2021, the Global Fund has approved a total of US$3.6 billion to more than 100 countries to adapt lifesaving HIV, TB and malaria programs, provide critical tests, treatments and medical supplies, protect front-line health workers and urgently reinforce fragile systems for health. These investments along with funding from donors like the Netherlands and fast action from communities and health partners helped mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on HIV, TB and malaria and achieve the progress made in the fight against the three diseases.