Almost half of what aid groups had hoped for, and over a month after other Group of 7 countries had committed help, the United Kingdom stated on Monday that it would donate $1.19 billion over three years to tackle H.I.V., TB, and malaria around the globe.
As of 2020, Britain’s foreign assistance donations were at their lowest level in decades, putting at risk efforts to combat infectious illnesses, starvation, climate change, and girls’ education.
The new commitment is made to the Global Fund, which supports several anti-HIV, anti-malaria, and anti-TB initiatives. Covid-19 has set back decades of progress in the fight against the three illnesses, which together kill roughly three million people annually.
As Britain’s minister for development, Andrew Mitchell, put it: “We refused to tolerate the loss of millions of lives every year to avoidable and curable illnesses.” The United Kingdom and other countries formed the Global Fund to combat this problem.
After the United States, Britain was the Global Fund’s second biggest contributor. Human rights funding, funding for several global health projects, and humanitarian help to Yemen, Syria, and other states have all been slashed by almost 60% since 2020.
The Global Fund claims that, since its inception in 2001, it has prevented the loss of 50 million lives. The fund’s executive director, Peter Sands, estimates that with an additional $18 billion from donor nations, it could save an additional 20 million lives over the next three years.
In September, G7 countries met in New York and promised a total of $14.25 billion, with the exception of the United Kingdom and Italy. As Britain’s economic situation worsened, some feared that the nation would pay little or nothing to the Global Fund.
Mr. Sands stated, “Given the extremely tough situation, we are immensely grateful for this firm assurance.” Although a significant increase over the last financing round’s meagre sum of $1.68 billion, the sum still falls well short of the $2.15 billion asked from Britain.
Mike Podmore, the head of the British health and human rights campaign organisation StopAids, pointed out that the required sum represents roughly.06 percent of the country’s gross domestic product.
According to him, “the U.K. will not be able to adequately react to the global challenges we are confronting now without reinstating the assistance budget to its previous proportions.” The United Kingdom’s “reputation as a leader in international development and global health” is at risk.