Saturday 30 September 2023

Saudi Fund for Development boosts funding to fight global pandemics

GENEVA, May 20, 2023

Saudi Fund for Development (SFD) has signed a $39 million multiyear contribution agreement with the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. The grant will support the fight to end global pandemics and strengthen health and community systems. 
The pact comes on a year which also marks the 20th anniversary of the partnership between the Global Fund and the SFD, which has been the main channel of Saudi contributions to the Global Fund since 2003. 
Announced during the Global Fund's 7th replenishment, which observed a substantial 30% increase from the previous conference, this agreement bolsters Saudi Arabia's standing as the 19th largest donor to the Global Fund. 
Having already pledged $162 million and contributed $123 million, the Kingdom continues to secure critical funding for resources and tools to combat these infectious diseases.
In 2021, Saudi Arabia ranked first among donor countries in offering official development assistance to low and medium-income countries, according to data published by the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
Over the last 20 years, the Global Fund has worked to fight the world’s three deadliest epidemics: HIV, TB, and malaria. 
Global Fund-supported programmes have saved 50 million lives since 2002 and cut the death toll from the three diseases by more than half, proof that global commitment and community leadership like that of the Kingdom can force the world’s deadliest infectious diseases into retreat. 
The signing ceremony is a significant milestone in the long-standing partnership between the two organizations and a testament to their shared commitment to ending global diseases, said the statement from SDF.
The agreement was signed by CEO Sultan Al Marshad and Global Fund Executive Director Peter Sands as per the directive of Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and His Royal Highness Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud, at an event which took place at the Global Fund in Geneva. 
It was also attended by Ambassador Abdulmohsen bin Khothaila, Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the United Nations in Geneva, alongside senior leaders from both parties.  
Lauding KSA for its support, Sands said: "The signing of this agreement will ensure that the Global Fund can continue to finance and support programmes that aim to prevent, treat, and care for people affected by HIV, tuberculosis, and malaria in more than 100 countries worldwide."
"This agreement demonstrates the critical importance of our partnership with the Saudi Fund for Development and sets the stage for even greater collaboration in the years to come," he added.
Al Marshad said: "Our purpose today is one that is both timely and critical, given the health challenges the world is currently facing, especially after the Covid-19 pandemic. These circumstances underline the necessity for a strong and resilient global health system."
"It is in response to these challenges that the Kingdom and its leadership is committing to support global health initiatives and drive long-term equitable development while safeguarding people's health. By targeting diseases such as AIDS, TB, and Malaria, we aim to help improve the lives of countless individuals, families, and communities," he added.


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