Qatar’s daily, The Peninsula, reports that, “The Minister of Public Health H E Dr Sheikha Ghalia bint Mohammed Al Thani yesterday received a delegation from the Global Fund for Fighting Malaria, chaired by Princess Astrid.” The Minister expressed appreciation of the efforts of the Global Fund in fighting malaria. The delegation in turn urged Qatar to become a contributor to the Global Fund.
To date just over $13 billion has actually been contributed to the Global Fund, although over $19 billion has been pledged. 95% of this comes from countries, while the remaining comes from private or other sources (most notably the Gates Foundation at $450 million).Â Among country donors, few of those sometimes termed middle income countries like Qatar have contributed.Â For example, Saudi Arabia has actually given $19 million so far, South Africa has contributed $8 million, China has provided $12 million and India has given $3 million.
Delegates representing 28 donor countries and foundations just concluded a meeting in Spain to assess the Global Fund’s resource needs. The discussed “The question of how to fill an estimated funding gap of at least US$ 4 billion urgently needs to be addressed as the Global Fundâ€™s Board will be approving a ninth round of proposals from recipient countries in November this year.”
The Global Fund’s Executive Director called on the G20 countries to step up efforts to support the Fund. Delegates “also called on the Global Fund to step up efforts to seek new government donors and attract more private sector contributions. Delegates from South Korea attended for the first time.” The visit to Qatar is in line with this stepped-up approach.
The G20 Summit did offer some hope along these lines toward the end of their lengthy statement:
We reaffirm our historic commitment to meeting the Millennium Development Goals and to achieving our respective ODA [Overseas Development Agencies] pledges, including commitments on Aid for Trade, debt relief, and the Gleneagles commitments, especially to sub-Saharan Africa.
We fully expect that the global economy will benefit when large portions of the world’s population no longer suffer loss of life and productivity from diseases like malaria.Â It is in everyone’s interest to contribute.