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Global Fund raises nearly 13 billion USD to fight infectious diseases
Last Updated: 2016-09-18 08:02 | Xinhua
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A global fund has reached its goal of raising 13 billion U.S. dollars for the fight to eradicate AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria by 2030, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Saturday.

"We have raised almost 13 billion dollars, and in doing so, we have saved 8 million lives," Trudeau said at the close of the fifth replenishment conference for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, which Canada hosted in Montreal.

Trudeau said that Canada pledges to provide 804 million Canadian dollars to the Global Fund in 2017 to 2019, according to CTV.

Canada is committed to creating a fairer world for the most vulnerable -- especially women and girls, and will continue to challenge world leaders to step up and contribute to the Global Fund, and address the gender inequality that fuels these epidemics, he said.

The conference has attracted a long list of wealthy donors and decision-makers from UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates.

U2 frontman and rock star Bono praised Trudeau's "personal commitment to equality" and Canada's support of global health initiatives during a keynote speech at the two-day conference.

Money raised by the Global Fund has had "extraordinary success" with saving 20 million lives since 2002 with antiviral drugs, but the fight is not over and there is a search for "leadership anywhere we can find it," Bono told the conference.

"At a time when these kinds of multilateral initiatives are receiving so much chill, it's just great to see Canada leading on this. You've always been ahead of the curve in realizing we can do more if the international community works together."

The conference is designed to show Canadian leadership on the international stage ahead of what is expected to be Trudeau's first address to the United Nations General Assembly next week.

"Over the next 15 years we must all work together to achieve the sustainable developing goals," the UN secretary-general told the conference.

The Global Fund is the world's main funding body aimed at the prevention and treatment of the world' s most devastating diseases: AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria.

It currently supports programs in more than 100 countries which have resulted in an estimated 20 million lives saved since 2002, mostly in Africa, where the burden of disease is greatest. It is on track to save 22 million lives by the end of 2016. (1 Canadian dollars equals about 0.73 U.S. dollar)

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