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Prime Minister Draghi’s address at virtual event to mark 20 years of the Global Fund

Friday, 24 September 2021

Dear colleagues, 

In 2001, the G8 set up the Global Fund to speed up the fight against infectious diseases.
As the Global Fund turns 20, we can say it’s been a resounding success.

The number of AIDS-related deaths in countries where the fund invests has dropped by 65%; 
deaths for tuberculosis have fallen by 28%; 
and those from malaria have declined by 45%.
The Global Fund has saved around 44 million lives – the equivalent of the population of Ukraine.

These results are remarkable, but the fight against HIV, TB and malaria is not over.
The advances we made over the years are now at risk.
The COVID-19 pandemic has overwhelmed health systems and diverted resources away from combating these diseases.
Last year, at least one million people didn’t get treated against tuberculosis.
HIV testing dropped by a staggering 20%.
Progress against malaria stalled.

Italy has put global health at the heart of its G20 presidency this year.
As vaccination campaigns against Covid-19 proceed globally, we must rekindle the spirit that led to the creation of the Global Fund. 
We need to strengthen our health systems, enhance access to treatments, encourage prevention.
And ensure we provide sufficient, sustainable and predictable funding to reach these objectives.
This is essential for getting the campaign against HIV, TB and malaria back on track.

Over the years, Italy has demonstrated a strong commitment to the Global Fund. 
Since its creation, we have contributed to it with more than 1.2 billion euro.
The next replenishment of the fund must be generous and show true global solidarity.
We want the next 20 years of the Global Fund to be even more successful than the past 20.