The economic and human benefits that could be achieved by meeting funding targets set by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria dramatically outweigh the costs, according to a report released today.
The Cost of Inaction report says that if the Global Fund receives the US $15 billion it requires over the next three years to implement AIDS, tuberculosis (TB) and Malaria programmes, the world can begin to bring the three diseases under control and relieve tremendous suffering around the world.
If the funding drive is unsuccessful, the world will fail to prevent millions of avoidable infections and deaths, and face lifetime treatment costs as high as US $47 billion, the report says. It also notes that a slowdown in efforts to tackle TB will result in uncontrollable future levels of multidrug-resistant TB, which is much more expensive to treat.
“There are three compelling factors that make this a unique opportunity to fight and defeat these diseases,” said Mark Dybul, Executive Director of the Global Fund. “We have the experience to know how to fight them effectively, we have new scientific tools, and we understand the epidemiology of these diseases better than ever. We can make a transformative difference, and if we do not act now, the costs will be staggering.”
Joanne Carter, the Executive Director of RESULTS Educational Fund in the US, said that the world is at a tipping point in the fight against HIV, TB and malaria. “The ultimate goal we all share to defeat these three diseases is a very real possibility,” she said. “Besides the humanitarian and moral case for a fully replenished fund, this report makes the undeniable value for money and economic rationale for scale-up, now.”
The report was developed by Dutch nongovernmental organization International Civil Society Support to support the Global Fund Advocates Network, in close consultation with the Global Fund Secretariat and partners including UNAIDS, the Stop TB Partnership and Roll Back Malaria.