ADMINISTRATOR POWER: Good afternoon, everyone. I want to thank all of you gathered here today, all of the heads of state who will be joining through the course of the day. We just received a very powerful and moving clarion call from individuals who have reminded us of what truly counts. They count. All of the lives affected by these deadly diseases count. And we have the opportunity to do something today that counts immeasurably. I want to start just by making explicit something we all know, which is that we have, of late unfortunately, lost ground.
Our fight – our long and encouraging fight against HIV/AIDS, TB, and malaria – has faced significant setbacks as a result of COVID-19, and so many other pressing needs around the world.
The latest data from UNAIDS shows that HIV infections actually rose last year by 1.5 million, just when we need to see rapid declines to reach our shared goal of ending HIV/AIDS as a public health threat by the end of this decade. Last year, an estimated 800,000 children living with HIV were still not receiving life-saving treatment, even though they represent a disproportionate share of AIDS deaths, with the gap in coverage between children and adults increasing.
The impact of COVID-19 on the fight against TB has been especially devastating, costing us years of progress. TB deaths rose in 2020 for the first time in more than a decade, 1.5 million deaths in 2020 alone.
And global malaria, where we saw remarkable progress as death rates dropped by 47 percent between 2002 and 2020, cases and deaths are both tragically on the rise. And with each minute that passes, as you well know, malaria claims yet another life, another child.
That is the gloomy picture before us. And I think it’s important to be clear-eyed about the challenges ahead.
But setbacks are not destiny. We have the knowledge, the tools, and, in the Global Fund, the right mechanism to regain ground and continue our push to end these diseases. What we need is the will.
And I am so pleased to say that the United States is fully committed to helping the Global Fund regain ground. As President Biden stressed today at the UN General Assembly, not long ago, the United States intends to contribute $6 billion, for the three-year Seventh Replenishment period. Now as many of you know what that means in practice, is that our government will match one dollar to two for every contribution made by other donors. And with our commitment, it is our hope, our expectation, our call to everyone here, that we raise at least $18 billion for the Global Fund to carry out its life saving work over the next three years.
This is frankly one of the most effective investments we can make.
In countries where the Global Fund invests, we see wider access to lifesaving antiretroviral therapy, the rapid distribution of insecticide-treated bed nets, and greater distribution of prevention therapy for children who’ve come into contact with TB patients.
In fact, the Global Fund’s work over the last twenty years, in partnership with governments – most of whom I think are represented here today – the private sector, and civil society, is one of the reasons people are living longer in the world’s most impoverished countries, with life expectancies beginning to converge between the poor and the rich.
These investments don’t just focus on fighting diseases; they strengthen health systems that help us treat and tamp down on other health threats, including COVID-19. And by tapping into the ingenuity of the private sector, and putting local communities at the heart of their work, the Global Fund is helping expand health equity.
The United States wants to thank all the partners and donors who have joined us, across the years, in the critical effort to sustain and replenish the Global Fund. Whatever discouragement we might occasionally feel due to the ground that has been lost of late, now is no time to look backwards. Now is the time to demonstrate our will to come together and march forward. That is what counts. Thank you so much.