September 09, 2005 08:51 ET

CIDA: Canada Launches Agenda on Global Health with Major Investment in Global Fund

MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(CCNMatthews - Sept. 9, 2005) - The Honourable Aileen Carroll, Minister of International Cooperation, today set out an agenda to strengthen health systems in developing countries and announced a significant contribution to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. The $250 million in funding will be delivered, over two years, through the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). Minister Carroll made the announcement on the closing day of the AIDS Vaccine 2005 International Conference which has been taking place in Montreal this week.

"Every day, 28,000 children die in developing countries, largely from preventable diseases," said Minister Carroll. "This is a moral affront to us all. It is a crisis that must be stopped. The goal of the agenda for action on global health is clear: to reduce the number of people, particularly children, dying unnecessarily from ill-health and disease."

The agenda for action on global health is a two-pronged strategy. First, Canada will step up efforts to prevent and control core poverty-linked diseases, with a particular focus on ensuring that efforts reach children and marginalized populations and address gender inequalities. Second, CIDA will work with developing country partners to ensure that initiatives to reduce the disease burden, especially in Africa, are built on sustainable health delivery systems. That means a sharp focus on strengthening human resources, support for health sector governance, better health information for decision-making, and strategies for sustainable financing of national and local health delivery systems. Health was identified as a key sector of focus for Canada's development efforts in the international Policy Statement.

Supporting the Global Fund is a key part of the agenda for action, with 61% of the Fund's approved programming allocated to Africa, and its added focus on strengthening health systems. In 2001, Canada played a key role in creating the Global Fund and support to it has increased progressively since. This announcement brings Canada's total commitment to the Global Fund to over $525 million, including the one-time $70 million contribution made earlier this year to ensure that programming efforts in 2005 were adequately financed.
"Canada is firmly committed to the Fund's objectives which include strengthening health systems in developing countries affected by the three diseases," said Minister Carroll. "Weak health systems are one of the single largest barriers to achieving the health-related Millennium Development Goals which is why strengthening health systems in developing countries is a key priority for CIDA."

As a partial indicator of the Fund's achievements as of August 2005, the results of 74 projects at their two-year operational phase were evaluated to be:

- 51,267 people receiving antiretroviral treatment;
- 359,000 people on TB treatment under DOTS;
- 2.9 million insecticide-treated nets distributed or re-treated to
protect families from malaria;
- 680,000 people receiving malaria treatment (215,000 people
receiving artemisinin combination therapy for drug-resistant
- 67 million people reached with mass media prevention messages and
3 million through community outreach;
- 107 million condoms distributed;
- and 286,000 people trained in prevention, diagnosis or treatment
for AIDS, tuberculosis or malaria.

The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria was created to increase resources to fight three of the world's most devastating diseases and to direct those resources to areas of greatest need. As a partnership involving governments, civil society, the private sector and affected communities, the Global Fund represents an innovative approach to international health financing.

Funding for this initiative was provided for in the February 2005 federal budget and is therefore built into the existing fiscal framework.

Contact Information

  • Office of the Minister of International Cooperation
    Andrew Graham
    Director of communications
    (819) 953-6238
    Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)
    Media Relations Office
    (819) 953-6534 (electronic version of document)