Replenishing the Global Fund
Drug-resistant tuberculosis kills around a quarter of a million people a year, and there are half a million new cases a year and rising. Do the Government accept that full replenishment of the Global Fund will be essential if this global health threat is to be beaten?
My right hon. Friend is absolutely right to highlight TB. He will be aware of the various funds to which the UK contributes to address this global scourge, and that includes contributions to the Global Fund’s efforts to discover 150 million undiscovered cases of TB worldwide, on which it has made some inroads. My right hon. Friend will not expect me to commit here and now to the sixth replenishment, but he will be aware that we have been at the forefront of encouraging countries to do so. I expect us to be positive—as we were for the fifth replenishment—in Lyon in October.
I warmly congratulate my right hon. Friend on assuming his position. May we have a debate on the replenishment of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria? It is absolutely essential that the UK not only maintains its generous commitment but increases it, as a congressional appropriations sub-committee has just recommended that the United States should do. We need a proportionate increase to ensure that those deadly diseases can be tackled, and an early decision by the Government is now necessary so that they can continue to show the global leadership on this issue that they have shown in the past.
I congratulate my right hon. Friend on his work in this area and on his chairmanship of the Global TB Caucus. The Government recognise the importance of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and we are in fact the world’s third-largest contributor to it. We are currently considering a further commitment to the fund’s replenishment this year, and I will ensure that my right hon. Friend’s points are noted.