WASHINGTON, D.C.— Statement from Chris Collins, President and CEO of Friends of the Global Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, on the Global Fund purchase of new antigen-detecting rapid diagnostic tests for COVID-19:

“We applaud the Global Fund for taking swift action to make the WHO’s newly approved antigen-detecting rapid diagnostic tests for COVID-19 available in low- and middle-income countries.  COVID-19 testing is central to saving lives and helping economies reopen, and testing will be crucial to the roll out of therapeutics and vaccines when they are available. Low- and middle-income countries will need an estimated 375 million antigen-detecting rapid diagnostic tests by mid-2021. The Global Fund’s initial commitment of $50 million today will purchase about 10 million of these tests. The United States and other partners must urgently invest in the Global Fund’s emergency COVID-19 Response Mechanism to meet the remaining need for tests. A $4 billion U.S. investment in the Global Fund’s emergency COVID-19 Response Mechanism will mobilize other donors. Large scale, rapid testing around the world is the only way we can tackle this pandemic – as long as COVID-19 rages in other countries, the United States will never be safe.”

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ABOUT FRIENDS OF THE GLOBAL FIGHT AGAINST AIDS, TUBERCULOSIS AND MALARIA: Friends of the Global Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria advocates for U.S. support of the Global Fund, and the goal to end the epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. For more information about Friends of the Global Fight, visit www.theglobalfight.org.

ABOUT THE GLOBAL FUND:

The Global Fund is a partnership designed to accelerate the end of AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria as epidemics. As an international organization, the Global Fund mobilizes and invests more than US$4 billion a year to support programs run by local experts in more than 100 countries. In partnership with governments, civil society, technical agencies, the private sector, faith-based organizations and people affected by the diseases, we are challenging barriers and embracing innovation. Learn more at https://www.theglobalfund.org/en/overview.