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Replenish the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria

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On October 4-5, the world community will consider the replenishment of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria. This is a crucial opportunity to sustain and accelerate progress towards the Millennium Development Goals. The Global Fund has been one of the world's most successful partnerships to fight three killer diseases and to expand primary health systems in low-income countries. The accomplishments of the Global Fund in 144 countries around the world are widely heralded. By pooling donor resources, supporting national-scale action plans, maintaining rigor in management and oversight, and promoting partnerships of public, private, and civil-society organizations, the Global Fund has saved millions of lives and helped to turn the corner on three pandemic diseases. The decisive control of malaria is within reach; AIDS prevention and treatment are reaching millions in needs; and TB is being treated more effectively than ever before.

The success of the Global Fund has led to an expansion of the country programs that it supports, exactly as is needed to achieve the MDGs. It is therefore imperative that the world support the scale up of primary health care and disease control through an adequate replenishment of Global Fund resources. The Global Fund has shown in great detail the need for at least $17 billion over the next three years, 2011-13, to sustain its recent progress, but has called for $20 billion over three years in order to scale up adequately to achieve the Millennium Development Goals.

In addition to this replenishment for the Global Fund's existing portfolio, there are also powerful practical reasons to commit several billion dollars of the $40 billion pledged at last week's MDG Summit last week for maternal and child health through an additional financing window at the Global Fund. A new funding window would promote community health workers, antenatal care, safe childbirth, neonatal survival, and the control of neglected tropical diseases, within the context of building effective primary health systems. At the African Union Summit in Kampala, Uganda in July, the Africa leaders precisely called for such a new financing window at the Global Fund to integrate the control of AIDS, TB, and malaria directed towards maternal, newborn, and child health.** The synergies of the Global Fund's current programs with maternal, newborn, and child health are extremely powerful, for example, in breaking mother-to-child transmission of AIDS through effective prenatal care and safe delivery; ensuring presumptive anti-malaria treatment to pregnant mothers; and controlling several worm infections that interact lethally with AIDS, TB, and malaria.

We are proud as members of the MDG Advocacy Group to support the ample replenishment of the Global Fund and also the call of Africa's leaders to expand the mandate of the Global Fund to maternal, newborn, and child health. We can recommend no better and more timely investment on the planet to support the Millennium Development Goals.

The MDG Advocates (full list and bio's) are a group of world leaders appointed by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon to promote the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. The undersigned MDG Advocates are issuing this statement on the occasion of the meeting in NYC on October 4-5 to replenish the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria.

Akin Adesina
Mukesh Ambani
Stine Bosse
Ray Chambers
Dho Young-Shim
Philippe Douste-Blazy
Jan Eliasson
Julio Frenk
Graca Machel
Wangari Maathai
Jeffrey Sachs

**The AU leaders "Call on the Global Fund for Fight against HIV/AIDS, Malaria and TB to create a new window to fund maternal, Newborn and Child Health. In this context, we appeal to development partners and donors for the replenishment of the Global Fund during its October 2010 meeting and to ensure that the new pledges are earmarked for Maternal Newborn and Child Health. We also appeal for equitable access to the Global Fund resources for all African Union Member States."
--As Adopted by the Fifteenth Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the Union on 27 July 2010 in Kampala, Uganda.