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The Korean Ministry of Health will contribute $6 million to the Global Fund for 2014-2016. An added $10 million will be paid by the Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs in annual installments of $2 million from 2013-2017 from a levy on all passengers leaving Korea on international flights. The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria welcome this announcement from Korea, which is now doubling its contribution over the next three years.

Introduced in 2007, this 1,000 won (US $0.95) levy, known as the Global Poverty Eradication Tax, was primarily used to contribute financial resources in order to fight poverty and disease in impoverished nations. For the 2011-2013 period, the Republic of Korea pledged $6 million. It is now nearly tripling that past commitment.

“The Republic of Korea is a trend-setter in the use of innovative funding methods to help fight the three diseases,” said Mark Dybul, Executive Director of the Global Fund. “In doubling its contribution, Korea is also leading the way for other G20 countries to follow.”

This contribution is a huge step ahead for the Republic of Korea, perhaps leading it on a path to achieving great power status. So far, it has contributed $19 million since it began providing financial support to the Global Fund in 2004. Perhaps this increase comes from the help that the Republic of Korea itself has received from the Global Fund. Since 2010, Global Fund grants in the Republic of Korea have funded the diagnosis and treatment of 120,000 cases of TB and the distribution of 710,000 mosquito nets.

“I hope that the decision of the Government of the Republic of Korea will help strengthen cooperation between my country and the Global Fund in financing for development in new and innovative ways in our fight against AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.” said SHIN Dong-ik, Deputy Minister for Multilateral and Global Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea.

– Sonia Aviv

Sources:  Vaccine News, The Global Fund, Business Wire
Photo: CTV News