In a letter to U.S. President Joe Biden, Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Michael Curry and other interfaith leaders highlight the urgency of ongoing support of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, noting that COVID-19 has slowed progress against those diseases.
The U.S. will host the Global Fund’s seventh Replenishment Conference in the second half of 2022, convening government and civic leaders, as well as leaders from the private sector and communities affected by the three most devastating infectious diseases. The international Global Fund partnership, founded in 2002, raises and invests more than $4 billion a year to support locally run programs in more than 100 countries. More than 90 percent of Global Fund resources come from government donations.
“Global Fund’s investments around the world have had tremendous impact—by its account, 44 million people are alive today because of the resources it has invested in the fight against malaria, tuberculosis, and HIV/AIDS,” said the Rev. Chuck Robertson, canon for Ministry Beyond The Episcopal Church.
In the past two decades, the number of lives lost annually to those diseases has been cut nearly in half in countries where the Global Fund operates. But COVID-19’s impact on healthcare access has devastated care responses, forcing progress against the diseases to go backward for the first time in the fund’s history.
“Many of our Episcopal/Anglican partners are at the front lines of this fight as well, and they understand the level of impact Global Fund’s resources bring to bear,” Robertson said. “It is crucial to ensure this work continues, which is why we have joined together to ask President Biden to pledge $2 billion annually for the next three-year replenishment cycle.”
Among Global Fund’s other contributions, the letter notes it is the largest provider of non-vaccine components of the COVID-19 response, including oxygen, personal protective equipment, tests, and therapeutics.
“As a communion of believers, we are grateful for U.S. contributions to the Global Fund over the years and are encouraged by its commitment to this reputable organization as we continue to live in this challenging global health landscape,” Robertson said.