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22 June 2024

Japan pledges extra funds to fight AIDS, TB and malaria

By Agencies

Japan on Friday pledged a fresh $184 million (Dh675.28 million) to combat AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria ahead of hosting a Group of Eight summit set to focus on global health.


The aid will be donated to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, established in 2002 by the Group of Eight major industrial countries.


The diseases together kill six million people a year, mostly in the developing world, Japan's foreign ministry said, adding the donation brought Tokyo's total contribution to the fund to $850 million (Dh3.12 billion).


"Japan continues to support measures against infectious diseases on a global scale and to stress the role of the global fund to strengthen those measures towards developing countries," it added.


Japan has said it wants to put global health high on the agenda of the Group of Eight summit to be held in July in the northern mountain resort of Toyako amid concern that the world will not meet the UN Millennium Development Goals.


The goals, set out by a UN summit in 2000, seek progress in eight areas by 2015 including reducing child mortality rates and halting the spread of AIDS.


The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria was the brainchild of the Group of Eight leaders at their last summit in Japan, held in 2000 on the southern island of Okinawa.


The Geneva-based fund, a partnership including governments and the private sector, dispenses financing to local leaders to fight diseases. It does not administer projects by itself.


The fund says it has approved more than $10 billion (Dh36.7 billion) in funding for projects in 136 countries. (AFP)