In a significant move at the COP28 summit, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Global Fund) announced a major redirection of its resources. Over the next three years, the organization will allocate more than 70% of its funding – surpassing $9 billion – specifically to countries most adversely affected by climate change. This decision marks a strategic shift, focusing on strengthening health programs in regions where environmental challenges intersect with public health.
Peter Sands, the Executive Director of the Global Fund, underscored the urgency of this initiative. “Combating infectious diseases effectively now requires an integrated approach that addresses the escalating challenges of climate change,” he stated. Sands pointed out the acute vulnerability of low- and middle-income countries, which, despite contributing minimally to global carbon emissions, face severe impacts from the climate crisis on their already strained health systems.
This substantial financial commitment reflects the Global Fund’s recognition of the interplay between climate change and health. The initiative includes an investment of over US$2.9 billion earmarked for the 50 countries most susceptible to climate-related adversities. This funding is intended to enhance the resilience of their health systems against climate-induced health crises and to improve their preparedness for potential pandemics.
The Global Fund’s pivot towards supporting climate-vulnerable nations represents a crucial evolution in international health funding. By prioritizing regions where the health impacts of climate change are most pronounced, the Fund is not only addressing immediate healthcare needs but is also investing in building long-term, sustainable health infrastructures in these communities.