March 23, 2006 18:06 ET

CIDA: Canada Marks World Tuberculosis Day with Continued Support to Global Drug Facility

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - March 23, 2006) - In recognition of World Tuberculosis Day, to be held on March 24, the Honourable Josee Verner, Minister of International Cooperation, today announced that Canada, through the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), is contributing $20 million to the Global Drug Facility (GDF). The funding will provide effective tuberculosis (TB) drugs in low-income countries with a high prevalence of the disease, and those affected by humanitarian crises.

"CIDA's overall support for TB control is estimated to have saved over half a million lives, at a cost of about $200 for each death averted," said Minister Verner. "I'm proud to say that Canada is playing a leadership role in the global fight against TB."

Canada was the founding donor of the Global Drug Facility and the funding announced today brings CIDA's support to the Facility to almost $92 million. The GDF plays a key role in the global control of TB by providing affordable, high-quality drugs to TB sufferers, ensuring the drugs can be properly stored, transported and distributed.

"Since the GDF's creation, it has secured drugs to treat more than five million people suffering from TB in over 60 developing countries," added Minister Verner. "It has been hailed as one of the world's greatest public health success stories."

Canada is a member of the Stop Tuberculosis Partnership, a coalition of some 400 organizations around the world working together to eliminate TB as a public health issue. Canada is also concerned with the TB/HIV co-epidemic and to date CIDA has provided almost $550 million to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria.

Funding for this initiative is built into the existing fiscal framework.

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