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World Leaders Pledge Billions to Fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria

    World Leaders Pledge Billions to Fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria
    Last updated: 2 months ago
    Image credit: Reuters [via US News]

    Facts

    • On Wednesday, a donor conference on the sidelines of the UN's annual General Assembly raised a record $14.25B for the Global Fund to fight AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria. World leaders seek to fight the deadly diseases after progress was delayed by the COVID pandemic. [1]
    • The fund started in 2002 and seeks $18B for the next three-year funding cycle from governments, civil society, and the private sector. Before Wednesday's conference, it had already raised more than a third of this total. [2]
    • US Pres. Joe Biden hosted the conference in New York and said the funding is crucial to combating the diseases. Under US law, Washington — which pledged $6B — cannot provide more than one-third of the funding, a limit designed to serve as a matching challenge for other nations. [3]
    • While the conference was met with new donors and saw a range of countries significantly increase their contributions, two of its major donors — Italy and the UK — have yet to announce their pledges. [2]
    • According to the fund's estimates, it has reduced the death toll from AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria by 50% over the past 20 years, reportedly saving more than 50M lives. [2]
    • Of all international financing, the Global Fund provides 30% for HIV programs, 76% for tuberculosis initiatives, and 63% for malaria projects. [2]
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    Spin

    Pro-establishment narrative

    Although the job is far from done, the conference was a huge success and an encouraging display of global solidarity. The world has demonstrated that HIV, malaria, and tuberculosis can be defeated through science, leadership, and a critical mass of resources. This latest development should be celebrated.

    Establishment-critical narrative

    While this is a step in the right direction, unfortunately, it isn't enough. Even when the UK and Italy make their pledges, the total will likely not meet the planned target — a failure that will mean fewer screening campaigns, fewer treatments, less funding for community health centers, and less strengthening of health systems.

    Nerd narrative

    There's a 21% chance that the number of people globally living with HIV/AIDS in 2037 will be at least 36.9M as per the median estimate from UNAIDS, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

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