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Bill Gates
Global Fund Replenishment
Montreal, Canada
September 17, 2016
AS PREPARED


Thank you, Hannah.

I'd like to thank Prime Minister Trudeau, Minister Bibeau, and the government of Canada for hosting this conference. It is an example of Canada's renewed leadership in international development – and its commitment to improving the health and well-being of the world's poor.

Given the many pressing issues that governments face – from terrorism and migration to economic and social integration – it is inspiring to see the commitment here in Montreal to funding this replenishment.

Donor countries stepping up with funding increases . . . First time pledges from new countries . . . Innovative partners like (RED) . . . and the extraordinary generosity of the United States government – by far the biggest contributor to the Global Fund, PEPFAR, and vital scientific research.

This is humankind at its best – people coming together to continue the fight against three of the world's deadliest diseases.

I've said before that the Global Fund is one of the kindest things people have ever done for each other.

It is also one of the wisest investments a donor can make in global health because this partnership gets results.

This year alone, the Global Fund's efforts will save the lives of 2 million people – more than the entire population of Montreal.

And the Fund just keeps getting better at what it does and how it does it.

In the last three years, it has saved more than $600 million by tripling the volume of essential medicines purchased through its pooled procurement mechanism.

A new online marketplace – created with a significant contribution by the Canadian government – could save an additional $250 million over the next few years.

In South Africa, the Fund is supporting efforts to develop a model supply chain so patients always have access to the medicines they need.

And it is investing in new approaches to prevention and treatment – like youth clubs where girls learn how to protect themselves from HIV infection.

We still have a lot of work to do to end the epidemics of HIV, TB, and malaria, but I'm optimistic we can get there.

One reason is that we have science on our side. There is a lot of great R&D work going on to develop new and better vaccines and drugs. And the Global Fund's market presence and procurement strategy gives the private sector an incentive to develop new tools.

Some of the big breakthroughs we need won't happen as soon as we like. An AIDS vaccine and long-acting antiretrovirals that people might only have to take once a month could take another 8 to 10 years.

In the meantime, the commitments made here today will save millions of lives and keep the epidemics under control until the progress of science gives us the tools to eventually get rid of them.

The replenishment will enable the Global Fund to address the challenge of getting more people living with HIV into treatment and motivating vulnerable populations – especially women and young girls – to use existing prevention tools.

With malaria, there is a promising pipeline of innovations – including new insecticides to overcome parasite resistance . . . vaccines to prevent transmission of malaria . . . and scientific breakthroughs that can make the deadliest mosquitoes incapable of transmitting the disease to people.

As newer products become available over the next decade, the Fund will play a critical role in helping countries acquire and scale up these life-saving products.

Tuberculosis remains a stubborn and devastating disease, but there is a lot of momentum there, too, in the development of new solutions like a drug regimen that will cure patients in a fraction of the time now required for treatment.

Meanwhile, high-burden countries like China, India, and South Africa are making great progress against TB with the tools we currently have. Not every country is in a position to do this, though, and that's why the Global Fund is so important. As the largest funder of the fight against TB, the Global Fund is critical to reaching people in places with limited resources.

Creating the Global Fund was bold, ambitious, and heroic. I believe it will go down in history as one of humanity's biggest achievements.

But to sustain the progress we've made, it's critical that we fully fund this replenishment. It is one of the most important things we can do to lift the burden of disease on the poor and create a pathway out of poverty for millions of people.

Our commitments here in Montreal are an opportunity to show that even in challenging times, we still care and are willing to invest in the things that will create a more equitable, prosperous, and secure world for people everywhere.

Thank you.

 

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