June 24th, 2022
Letter to minister sajjan regarding the global fund to fight aids, tuberculosis and malaria
The Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan
Minister of International Development
Global Affairs Canada
125 Sussex Avenue
Ottawa, ON K1A 0G2
I am writing to you today regarding The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and the important role Canada must play in fighting existing and future pandemics.
COVID-19 has stretched health systems to the breaking point and caused disruptions in routine health services that have led to a serious decline in testing and treatment across all three of these diseases. As a result, the progress we’ve secured after decades of effort has begun to unravel – with deaths from TB and malaria increasing for the first time in several years and progress on HIV stalled and under threat.
I recently met with a group of concerned Canadians about the devastating effect of the pandemic on three epidemics that we have been battling for decades, and in some cases centuries - AIDS, tuberculosis (TB) and malaria.
Fortunately, an effective, high-impact, and proven global health organization exists that can set the world back on course – the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria (GFATM).
Over the past two decades, thanks to the Global Fund, 44 million lives have been saved and USD$53 billion has been raised to strengthen the global health architecture. The Global Fund has achieved this ground-breaking level of impact through country-led collaborations with Ministries of Health in low and middle-income countries, as well as deep partnerships with community-based, national, and international civil society organizations. While generating these ground-breaking levels of impact, it has also emerged as an emblem of efficiency: each USD$1 invested yields USD$31 back in health and economic returns. The Fund is also playing an important role in the effort to end COVID-19, by strengthening health systems, expanding existing interventions, like contact tracing and testing, and adopting, testing, and applying new innovations to help pandemic-proof the world.
Canada has been a donor to the Global Fund since its inception in 2002 and an architect in its success. Indeed, as the Fund’s 6th largest donor, many of the gains secured to date can be directly attributed to the generosity and contribution of Canadians – with increasing pledges throughout every replenishment recycle, regardless of which party formed government at the time.
Later this year, the United States will host the 7th replenishment of the Global Fund. Donors from around the world will be coming together to demonstrate their commitment to global health and solidarity and will be renewing their investment. With adequate resources, the Global Fund can save 20 million lives between 2024 and 2026, cut the death rate from HIV, TB and malaria by 64%, avert more than 450 million infections, strengthen pandemic preparedness, and help build a healthier, more equitable world.
At the end of July, Canada will host the International AIDS conference in Montreal – an excellent opportunity to show global solidarity and build momentum in support for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria ahead of the US-hosted replenishment conference planned for New York in September
I look forward to working with you to ensure Canada delivers on its commitments to fight AIDS, tuberculosis (TB) and malaria.
Heather McPherson, M.P.
Critic for Foreign Affairs
Critic for International Development