Canada urged to do more to fight certain diseases | AIDS: on the trail of a pandemic

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Canada’s urged to do more to combat certain diseases | AIDS: on the trail of a pandemic

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Montreal will host the International AIDS Conference from July 29 to August 2.

Groups hope that Canada will take advantage of an upcoming International AIDS Conference in Montreal to make a stronger commitment to funding a global organization that fights this disease as well as tuberculosis and malaria.

Élise Legault, Canadian director of ONE Campaign, says her organization wants Canada to provide $1.2 billion in funding to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria during the upcoming conference. ;opens July 29.

With this investment, Canada, like other countries, would help save 20 million people over the next few years. years. The possibility that Prime Minister [Trudeau] does not take advantage of this opportunity worries us, she said.

Ms. Legault claims that the Global Fund, which funds ministries of health and nongovernmental organizations that fight these three diseases, has helped save an estimated 44 million lives over the past 20 years.

Canada is one of the Fund's main benefactors. He has handed over more than four billion dollars since 2002.

Chris Dendys, executive director of the Results Canada group, says his group is also pushing for a $1.2 billion federal contribution. This is the amount the Global Fund says it needs. This is the bare minimum.

We hear our request caused a shock, which is unfortunate given the opportunity for Canada to create an impact and to assert itself on the world stage while the rest of the planet watches, underlines Ms. Dendys.

The Global Fund is asking state donors for $18 billion in funding over the next three years, an increase of about 30% from the aid requested three years ago. This organization says it needs more money to make up for hard-earned gains [that] have been lost due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The pandemic has disrupted health care services, including those that fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, says Legault.

“When the pandemic hit, we let these killer diseases take over.

— Élise Legault, Canadian Director of ONE Campaign

The number of deaths from tuberculosis and malaria has increased for the first time in several years. If this trend is not stemmed, it will be the worst legacy of COVID. We are really concerned about this setback, she adds.

According to her, the $1.2 billion sought from the Canadian government is a fair share of the Global Fund's $18 billion target. This amount represents a 30% increase from the previous Canadian contribution of $930.4 million in 2019.

Ms. Denys recalls that Mr. Trudeau often played the role of chief to encourage other nations to contribute to the Global Fund. Other countries are waiting to see what Canada will do.

This is not just about Canada's engagement. This question is really important. Convince other donors to contribute and to do so at a level that will make a difference. If we don't achieve this goal, we will dig a hole for other donors to fall into.

A spokeswoman for Prime Minister Trudeau forwarded questions about this to the office of the Minister for International Development, Harjit Sajjan, who said he could not answer it before the next week.

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