A decade ago, the global community stood together to declare that where people live should not determine whether they live or die when confronted by the scourge of AIDS, tuberculosis, or malaria.This act of solidarity – unprecedented in human experience – led to revolutionary advances in promoting health care as a human right. The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria, along with the United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), quite literally changed the course of history. Programs directly supported by the Global Fund have saved nearly eight million lives since 2002 – an average of more than 4,400 lives every day.
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But, while much has been accomplished, much more remains to be done – and the Global Fund needs at least $2 billion to reverse a funding freeze that is in place through 2014. So the world now plays a waiting game to see whether governments will step up and fill the gap.
To be blunt, many of the world’s largest economies are not fulfilling their financial pledges to the Fund. Their politicians cite budget constraints and the need to prioritize domestic programs over fighting diseases that disproportionately kill the world’s poorest.
My country, Rwanda, has been a recipient of Global Fund grants since 2002. Just 18 years ago, our society was torn apart by a brutal genocide that killed more than one million people. Today, Rwanda is a peaceful ...