Saudi SFD signs $39mn deal with Global Fund to strengthen health system

By Arya M Nair, Official Reporter
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SFD_Global Fund agreement for healthcare system
Official from SFD & Global Fund at agreement signing ceremony

The Saudi Fund for Development (SFD) has signed a $39 million multi-year contribution agreement with the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM), to support the fight to end global pandemics and strengthen health and community systems.

At the event, which took place at the Global Fund in Geneva, the agreement was signed by H.E. Mr. Sultan Al-Marshad, CEO of the SFD, and Mr. Peter Sands, Executive Director of the Global Fund, in the presence of H.E. Ambassador Abdulmohsen bin Khothaila, Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the United Nations in Geneva, alongside senior leaders from both parties.

This agreement, announced during the Global Fund’s 7th replenishment, which observed a substantial 30 percent increase from the previous conference, bolsters Saudi Arabia’s position as the 19th largest donor to the Global Fund. Having already pledged $162 million and contributed $123 million, the Kingdom continues to secure critical funding for resources and tools to combat these infectious diseases.

Sultan Al-Marshad_SFD signs contribution agreement with Global Fund
Sultan Al-Marshad

“Our purpose today is one that is both timely and critical, given the health challenges the world is currently facing, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic. These circumstances underline the necessity for a strong and resilient global health system. It is in response to these challenges that the Kingdom and its leadership are committing to support global health initiatives and drive long-term equitable development while safeguarding people’s health. By targeting diseases such as AIDS, TB, and Malaria, we aim to help improve the lives of countless individuals, families, and communities.”

Over the last 20 years, the Global Fund has worked to fight the world’s three deadliest epidemics, HIV, TB, and malaria. Global Fund-supported programs have saved 50 million lives since 2002 and cut the death toll from the three diseases by more than half, proof that global commitment and community leaders like that of the Kingdom can force the world’s deadliest infectious diseases into retreat. The signing ceremony is a significant milestone in the long-standing partnership between the two organizations and a testament to their shared commitment to ending global diseases.

Mr. Sands, stated that “We are grateful for the generous support of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia over the past 20 years. The signing of this agreement will ensure that the Global Fund can continue to finance and support programs that aim to prevent, treat, and care for people affected by HIV, tuberculosis, and malaria in more than 100 countries worldwide. This agreement demonstrates the critical importance of our partnership with SFD and sets the stage for even greater collaboration in the years to come.”

In 2021, Saudi Arabia ranked first among donor countries in offering official development assistance to low and medium-income countries, according to data published by the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

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