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Communities and civil society living with and/or affected by, and vulnerable to HIV, tuberculosis and malaria signed onto a letter that expressed appreciation to Sweden for their recent pledge of SEK 100 million to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Global Fund) to fight COVID-19 and at the same time, protect progress against the three diseases and to support sexual and reproductive health programmes.

A long standing partner of the Global Fund since its establishment, Sweden has so far pledged over USD1.8 billion, including SEK 2,850 million during the Sixth Replenishment hosted by President Macron, France in 2019.

The pledge from Sweden not only demonstrates it commitment, it also emphasises the leadership that is needed as the world is coming together to overcome the significant challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The knock-on impact of COVID-19 has overwhelmed health and community systems, disrupted HIV, TB and malaria treatment and prevention programmes, and diverted resources – this could result in the doubling of deaths from the three epidemics in the coming year, reversing the hard gained progress.

The Global Fund has so far allocated over USD 813 million to support countries in fighting COVID-19 under its 5% Grant Flexibilities and COVID-19 Response Mechanism (C19RM) initiatives to date.

However, the Global Fund emergency response fund is now running low, and urgently needs USD 5 billion over the next 12 months to continue to fight COVID-19, protect health workers and systems for health, and defend progress against HIV, TB and malaria programmes in the countries where it invests.

As communities and civil society living with and/or affected by, and vulnerable to HIV, TB and malaria in Asia-Pacific, we call upon the global donor community – including the private sector and private foundations to pledge to the Global Fund’s efforts to fight COVID-19 and protect the progress against the three diseases!