World Economic Forum: Germany makes 1 bn euro contribution to the Global Fund

Angela Merkel

Germany has announced a contribution of 1 billion euro to the Global Fund, a Geneva-based financing agency that disburses funds to combat AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.

The commitment represents a continuation of Germany's pledge for annual contributions of 200 million euro for a total of five years, through 2016.

"It (the contribution) means health workers and the people they serve in countries like Ethiopia, Myanmar and Haiti can make a huge difference.

"Everyone is grateful to Germany for its generosity and for its recognition that investing in global health benefits us all," Global Fund Executive Director Mark Dybu said.

The announcement was made by Dirk Niebel, Germany's Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development at the World Economic Forum here.

The event was also attended by Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Mark Dybul, Executive Director of the Global Fund.

Germany has been a strong supporter of the Global Fund since the beginning and has taken the lead in Europe to announce this important pledge, showing commitment and endorsement for the efforts to transform the Global Fund into a highly efficient channel for financing a sustainable, long- term response to the three diseases.

One financing initiative that Germany has pioneered is Debt2Health, a Global Fund scheme that allows developing countries to free up debt and invest it in programs for the three diseases. Germany has signed such agreements with Indonesia, Pakistan, Côte d'Ivoire and Egypt/Ethiopia.

Meanwhile, in the opening ceremony of WEF Annual Meeting here this year Oscar and Golden Globe winner Hollywood actress Charlize Theron was awarded the Crystal Award.

Theron, whose native place happens to be Africa, has been working towards fighting the widespread presence of this disease in the region.

Theron also had her portrait taken at the WEF summit for a campaign named 'Big Push' against diseases like AIDS/HIV, Malaria and TB.

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