A global organisation funding the fight against three major diseases is hoping for $14 billion in funding at a donor conference opening today in the French city of Lyon. The Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria says that reaching its goal could help save 16 million lives and avoid 234 million infections by 2023. The fund, which is mainly backed by governments but also gets some private funding, recorded pledges of $12.9 billion in its last funding, held in Canada in 2016.
French President, Emmanuel Macron is expected at the conference on Thursday and sources say another 10 or more world leaders will join him, including the leaders of Burkina Faso, Madagascar and Niger. Billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates, whose Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is the fund’s biggest non-state donor, is also scheduled to speak. According reports, 72 per cent of the money disbursed since the 2016 funding round has been spent in Africa, with another 20 per cent in Asia and the Pacific.