By Phephile Motau
Eswatini has pledged about E17.6 million (US$1 million) to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria. The country was one of those which made pledges worth about E250.5 billion (US$ 14.25 billion) to support efforts to end the three pandemics at the Global Fund’s Seventh Replenishment Conference hosted by the President of the United States Joe Biden. The UNAIDS congratulated the countries which made their pledges in a statement.
“Leaders from around the world who have committed resources today are life savers. They have invested in the future of children, young people, and those facing the disproportionate burden of global inequalities-especially young women and girls. They are helping to build resilient health systems and be better prepared to face emerging threats to global security,” said Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director of UNAIDS.
The UNAIDS said countries rose to the challenge of increasing funding by 30 per cent demonstrating their confidence in the strong leadership of the Global Fund and its partners. The United States continued its position as a leader in global health by pledging about E105 billion (US$ 6 billion). Canada, Germany, Ireland, Japan, Luxembourg, Portugal, Spain, and South Africa all increased their funding by 30 per cent. A notable contribution came from the Republic of Korea which increased its contribution by 300 per cent to US$ 100 million.
The UNAIDS said developing countries, many tackling large HIV epidemics also stepped up in support of the Global Fund. Burkina Faso increased its contribution by 100 per cent, Uganda and Togo increased by 50 per cent, Kenya by 40 per cent, and Cote d’Ivoire by more than 30 per cent.
“The Central African Republic, Eswatini, Malawi, Nigeria, Tanzania, Rwanda, and Zimbabwe all made contributions to the Global Fund despite facing huge fiscal challenges, exacerbated by current global crises,” the statement reads.
“I am truly humbled to see so many developing countries, that are themselves facing multiple crises, and yet still made increased pledges to the Global Fund. I commend them,” said Byanyima.
France, the European Commission, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation all made important contributions while two major donors are still to pledge, the UK and Italy, both of whom reiterated their support to the Global Fund and indicated they will be pledging in the coming weeks.
By 2019, Eswatini has received over US$265million, approximately E3.5 billion, from the Global Fund in support of intervention programmes to strengthen the fight against HIV, TB, and Malaria. This enabled the Kingdom to achieve several health milestones that include the reduction of new HIV infections, and a decline in TB cases. The country has also seen a significant decline in malaria cases as well as incidence attributed to the uptake of the various key interventions within the Malaria National Strategic Plan.
The installation of the Client Management Information System (CMIS) in some facilities has improved data reporting timelines, as more of the facilities are now reporting in real time.