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Nigerien President Mahamadou Issoufou and French President Emmanuel Macron the Global Fund conference on Oct. 9, 2019. Photo: Olivier Chassignole/AFP via Getty Images

A record $14 billion in commitments made last week to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria could help the multilateral health partnership save up to 16 million lives while halving mortality rates from the illnesses it targets.

Why it matters: Very few countries are on track to reach the United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Goal targets for HIV, TB and malaria. The new commitments mark a 15% increase from the previous replenishment three years ago and reflect greater prioritization of preventable disease.

What's happening: This successful replenishment benefitted from pressure by French President Emmanuel Macron and other leaders to secure support from an unprecedented number of implementing countries.

Yes, but: It comes as global multilateral organizations find themselves treading water amid a recent rise in complacency and nationalism.

  • The development community has to some degree suffered from its success, leaving a distracted public less alert to the ongoing crises around global health that span international borders.
  • The U.S. Congress, for example, held well over a dozen hearings on the global AIDS crisis at the height of the epidemic but just one in the past seven years.
  • Although the U.S. is the world's largest global health donor, a recent budget proposal would reduce that funding to its lowest level since 2008.

How it works: The Global Fund, which connects governments, health organizations and the private sector to help low-income countries treat and prevent disease, reported in September that it has saved over 32 million lives since 2002.

  • The Fund incentivizes countries to increase domestic spending on health care, fortifying their health systems against disease outbreaks like the current Ebola emergency in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
  • It also works to improve health care access, especially for young women and girls across sub-Saharan Africa.

What to watch: This round of commitments now has to be backed up with real dollars from donor countries, where some argue those funds would be better spent at home.

  • Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, could face similar headwinds in its scheduled replenishment next year.

The bottom line: Funding multilateral health organizations has become harder in recent years, but this round of financing for the Global Fund is proof that global cooperation can still be marshaled.

Gayle E. Smith is the president and CEO of the ONE Campaign and a former administrator of USAID. ONE’s sister organization, (RED), mobilizes funds from the private sector to the Global Fund.

Go deeper

Updated 3 hours ago - World

Reports: Up to 17 U.S. missionaries kidnapped in Haiti

Haitian soldiers guard the public prosecutor's office in Port-au-Prince earlier this month. Photo: Richard Pierrin/AFP via Getty Images

Children were among up to 17 American Christian missionaries and their relatives kidnapped by a gang in Haiti on Saturday, the New York Times first reported.

Details: The missionaries had just left an orphanage and were traveling by bus to the airport to "drop off some members" and were due to travel to another destination when the gang struck in Port-au-Prince, Haitian security officials said, per the NYT.

5 hours ago - World

Melbourne, "world's most locked-down city," to lift stay-at-home orders

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews during a news conference in Melbourne, Australia, on Sunday. Photo: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

Melbourne's stay-at-home orders will end five days earlier than planned, officials in Australia's second-biggest city announced Sunday.

Why it matters: The capital of the state of Victoria has had six lockdowns totaling 262 days since March last year. That means Melbourne spent longer under lockdown than "any other city in the world" during the pandemic, Reuters notes.

Venezuela suspends talks with opposition after Maduro ally extradited to U.S.

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro in Caracas, Venezuela, in June. Photo: Gaby Oraa/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A key ally of Venezuela's President Nicolás Maduro was extradited from Cape Verde to the U.S. on Saturday to face money laundering charges in Florida, Bloomberg first reported.

Why it matters: Venezuela's government called off negotiations with opposition officials that were scheduled for Sunday in Mexico in response to the extradition of Alex Saab, a Colombian businessman and financial fixer for Maduro. Security forces placed six U.S. oil executives under house arrest hours later, per AP.