Today, World AIDS Day, France is reiterating its unwavering commitment to this fight. The French President provided further proof of this commitment when he announced last September that France will be making an unprecedented contribution of over €1.6 billion to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria between 2023 and 2025.
Significant progress has been made over the last 30 years. However, the AIDS epidemic continues to take 650,000 lives every year and has the greatest impact on the most vulnerable, marginalized and criminalized populations, which have the hardest time accessing healthcare services.
France is one of the first countries to have based its international efforts on the principles of solidarity and universal access to treatment, bolstered by financial assistance that is commensurate with the magnitude of this challenge. France is the largest European donor to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Our country is also the largest donor to Unitaid, an international initiative launched by France and Brazil in 2006 that aims to provide the most vulnerable populations with affordable medicines.
At a time when the Covid-19 pandemic has slowed down the global fight against HIV/AIDS over the last two years and the mortality rate has risen for those suffering from both AIDS and chronic or degenerative diseases, France reiterates the need to strengthen our healthcare systems in order to guarantee international health security. France calls on the entire international community to step up efforts to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic by 2030.