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Thursday, 26 November 2015
Page: 13950

Mr HAYES (FowlerChief Opposition Whip) (10:13): Despite the medical advances and improvements in sanitation and water supply, nutrition, housing and education, the fact is that poor health continues to plague many countries in the world. In fact, infectious diseases such as AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis alone kill up to four million people each year. Sadly, a disproportionate share of those affected are in, for example, developing countries in Africa, such as Kenya, as well as Bangladesh, Cambodia and India. This is where the work of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria plays an extraordinary role in bringing together finances and technical expertise to combat HIV, TB and malaria.

Founded in 2002, the Global Fund works in partnership with governments and civil agencies to finance and disperse resources to prevent and treat infectious diseases. Currently this organisation is the world's largest financier of anti-AIDS programs, and TB and malaria programs as well. It is investing $4 billion, each year, in programs to accelerate the end of these diseases. As of September, since the formation of the global fund, it has disbursed $27 billion in comprehensive programs, in 150 countries, to support large-scale education, prevention, diagnosis and treatment programs. These programs, particularly, have provided eight million people with access to HIV antiretroviral therapy. Over 13 million people with access to testing and treatment for TB, and more than 550 million anti-insecticide treated beds with nets, have been provided to affected communities to prevent malaria.

I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Professor Janice Reid AC on her appointment as chair of the advisory council for Pacific Friends of the Global Fund. Jan is a personal friend of mine and was the former vice-chancellor of the University of Western Sydney. She is an outstanding academic and advocate for equitable access to health and education as well as improving the role of women and girls in developing countries. Through her many administrative roles, particularly as chair of the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, Jan has always brought a deep commitment to advocating for equitable access to education, health-care opportunities for Indigenous people, refugees and people from low socio-economic backgrounds. I commend Jan and the global fund for their significant contribution and call on this government to continue to increase, to review and to support the philanthropic purposes that this fund was established for.