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The Right Honourable Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
Office of the Prime Minister
80 Wellington Street
Ottawa, ON  K1A 0A2

Honourable Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of International Development
Honourable Minister Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs
Honourable Jane Philpott, President of the Treasury Board and Minister of Digital Government
Honourable Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Health

February 14, 2019

Dear Canada,

In 2016, you pledged CDN $804 million to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis (TB) and Malaria (The Global Fund). We, the undersigned advocates, activists and representatives of communities living with, affected by and vulnerable to the three diseases in Canada have welcomed your contributions and leadership since The Global Fund was established in 2002. Since its inception, The Global Fund has saved over 27 million lives. It continues to build resilient and sustainable health systems, advance human rights, drive gender equality, strengthen community systems, and improve the lives of vulnerable women, adolescent girls, men and boys, with the aim to leave no one behind.

Your contributions have catalyzed counterpart domestic resource contributions for health from developing countries, including ours. Your contributions have propelled innovative platforms, like Wambo.com, to ensure more equitable access to the lowest price for the highest quality health commodities. Your continuous championing and financial support of The Global Fund sends a clear and strong message of your commitment to end the three epidemics by 2030 and improve the lives of those most impacted by them.

Communities and civil society advocates in more than 45 countries across the world, both in upper and lower income countries, are joining forces this Valentine’s Day to show you our love and thank you for your on-going commitment and dedication to see an end to the three leading global killers and the leading drivers of poverty and inequity. Our letters will be reaching your embassies in a number of countries today.

This year, The Global Fund embarks on its sixth Replenishment to raise funds for the next three-year programming cycle and deliver on its strategy targets (2020 – 2022). In this Replenishment, The Global Fund aims to raise at least US $14billion which will help save an additional 16 million lives, cut the mortality rate from AIDS, TB and malaria in half, and build stronger more resilient health systems, including community systems, by 2023.

We heard throughout 2018 that the world has fallen off track in its promise to end AIDS, TB and Malaria as epidemics. HIV is the leading global cause of early death among adolescent girls and young women ages 15 – 49. A total of 37.6 million people now live with HIV, and there are 1.8 million new infections  annually. TB has found its way to the top as the world’s most lethal infectious disease, with over 10 million new cases each year, and an estimated 1.8 million deaths annually. Over a quarter of the world’s population carry latent TB infection, and many more are at risk for other co-infections (such as TB-HIV) and illness. Malaria has infected an estimated 216 million people in 2016, killing 445,000 people, including 285,000 children who were under the age of five. Malaria remains a major killer of children and is on record for taking the life of a child every two minutes.

This year is a pivotal year for the world to get back on track and meet the targets laid out in SDG 3 in our fight against the three diseases. In 2015, world leaders committed to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030 pledging to deliver health and well-being for all, to achieve universal health coverage, and to build a more prosperous, equitable and sustainable world. With only 11 years left it is time to meet our challenge head on and step up our game!

Raising at least US$14billion for the Sixth Replenishment will signify merely a maintenance of the current programming and will not allow for scaled-up responses to the three epidemics. We must raise our level of ambition. Global technical partners have estimated that the total funding need for AIDS, TB and malaria rests at around US $46 billion annually of which, as the Get Back on Track to End the Epidemics report by the Global Fund Advocates Network (GFAN) estimates, at least US$16.8-US$18billion should be invested through The Global Fund for the Sixth Replenishment.

An increased Replenishment will provide the Global Fund the ability to scale up its effective responses and end needless infections and death, deepened poverty and inequities.

We therefore call for the following:

We call on Canada to show us love by increasing its pledge to the Sixth Replenishment of The Global Fund from its previous pledge of CDN $804 million for the Fifth Replenishment. We call on Canada to maintain its 5.5% share of the total Global Fund ask and commit at least CDN $1 billion to this critical period in the future of global health and poverty reduction.

We call on Canada to lead the global donor community by announcing an early pledge and rallying other donor and implementing countries to increase their pledges to the Global Fund’s Sixth Replenishment.

We call on Canada to demonstrate its commitment with a minimum of a CDN $1 billion pledge to The Global Fund. This commitment will show continued global leadership in achieving the SDGs and to building stronger, more equitable and rights-based health systems that ensure healthy lives, more prosperous societies, and promote well-being for all.  

We strongly encourage Canada to continue its global leadership and to remain among The Global Fund’s top champions and funding contributor.

Yours Sincerely,

Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights (ASHR)
Asian Community AIDS Services (ACAS)
Canadian AIDS Society
Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network
Canadian Society for International Health (CSIH)
Coalition des organismes communautaires québécois de lutte contre le sida (COCQ-SIDA)
Global Citizen
Grandmothers Advocacy Network
Help Lesotho
Interagency Coalition on AIDS and Development (ICAD)
Ontario Positive Asians (OPA+)
Plan International Canada
Positive Living Niagara