Switzerland continues its commitment in the fight against HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis

Bern, 24.08.2022 - In 2020, over 2.8 million people died from HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis, mainly in low- and middle-income countries. At its session on 24 August 2022, the Federal Council decided to continue its commitment in the fight against the three diseases. It allocated CHF 64 million to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (the Global Fund) for the period 2023–25, and provided support amounting to CHF 30 million for the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) for the period 2022–24.

Despite the remarkable progress made in the fight against HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, the goal of ending these epidemics has not yet been achieved. On the contrary, owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, since 2020 there have been significant setbacks: HIV testing has decreased by 22% and prevention services by 11%. Deaths due to malaria are on the rise, with one child dying from the disease almost every minute. Tuberculosis remains the most deadly infectious disease in the world after COVID-19.

These three diseases hinder the socio-economic development of low- and middle-income countries, and particularly affect poor and vulnerable groups. The Global Fund and UNAIDS help governments to control these diseases within the framework of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda.

Switzerland and global health
By supporting these two Geneva-based organisations, Switzerland makes a valuable contribution to the strengthening of health systems in low- and middle-income countries. In a globalised world, effectively combating infectious diseases makes it possible to reduce health risks and reinforce security all over the world.

With a high concentration of key stakeholders in the country, ranging from pharmaceutical companies to international organisations, Switzerland is an important hub for global health. As a member of the Global Fund and UNAIDS executive boards, Switzerland shares its experience and advocates for the efficient use of resources. It is committed to promoting the participation of people affected by epidemics, as well as civil society, the private sector and science, to ensure efficient and sustainable responses. This inclusive approach bolsters the fight against the three diseases and contributes to Geneva’s status as an international hub for expertise.

The Global Fund and UNAIDS

The Global Fund is a financing mechanism created with the goal of ending HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis in low- and middle-income countries. The funds allocated are invested in diagnostics, medicines and the strengthening of health services. Since 2002, it has helped save 44 million lives. It has been the main provider of grants to low- and middle-income countries for non-vaccine COVID-19 control tools, and plays a leading role in strengthening the resilience of health systems. Switzerland is contributing CHF 64 million for the period 2023–25.

UNAIDS is a United Nations programme that brings together the efforts of 11 agencies, such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). With its extensive technical expertise, UNAIDS supports governments and organisations such as the Global Fund in their HIV/AIDS response. In particular, UNAIDS has contributed to reducing new infections by one third since 2010. In 2020, almost two thirds of the 37.7 million people living with HIV/AIDS were able to access antiretroviral medicines, and millions of AIDS-related deaths were prevented over the past two decades. Switzerland is supporting UNAIDS with CHF 30 million for the period 2022–24.

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