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Friday October 18th, 2019 5:01AM

Global Fund raises $13.92 billion to fight AIDS, TB, malaria

By The Associated Press
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PARIS (AP) — An organization that funds programs to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria raised at least $13.92 billion for the next three years at an international conference, French President Emmanuel Macron said Thursday.

The Global Fund said after the conference that Macron, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and Bono of the rock band U2 "committed to raise at least a further $100 million during the replenishment period to achieve a total of over $14 billion" - the organization's goal for its conference in France.

The last Global Fund conference brought in $12.2 billion in 2016. To give a boost toward this year's target, France increased its pledge to $1.42 billion, $60 million more than previously announced, Macron said.

"We are absolutely thrilled," Global Fund Executive Director Peter Sands said at a news conference. "With these resources, we can step up the fight."

A dozen heads of state and government, mostly from African countries, attended the two-day event in the French city of Lyon.

During his speech, Macron mistakenly detailed the amounts in euros. The French presidency later said he was actually speaking in dollars.

The U.S. Congress approved a commitment to give of $4.68 billion over three years, about a third of the overall total. The United States and France are the Global Fund's biggest public donors.

Britain, Germany, Canada and the European Union increased their pledges, too, while private donors pledged more than $1 billion.

The donations from governments, philanthropic donors and the private sector will finance health programs in more than 100 countries, the fund said. Major recipients of the fund are Nigeria, Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mozambique and Zimbabwe.

The Global Fund said the money would help save as many as 16 million lives, avert 234 million infections and try to get back on track to end HIV, tuberculosis and malaria as epidemics by 2030.

The organization said the programs it has supported since its creation in 2002 have saved 32 million lives.

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