Sir Elton John welcomes £1.4bn funding pledge to combat Aids

Sir Elton John has welcomed a Government commitment to spend £1.4 billion on tackling Aids, malaria and tuberculosis.

The Rocket Man singer, who set up the Elton John Aids Foundation to fight the disease, said the UK’s pledge set an “extraordinary example for others to follow”.

Prime Minister Theresa May set out the commitment to spend an average of £467 million a year in support for the Global Fund.

The three-year funding pledge from the UK’s aid budget follows a plea from the Global Fund for an £11 billion cash injection.

Mrs May called on other leaders at the G20 summit in Osaka to commit cash to the fund to combat Aids, malaria and TB.

She said: “We need urgent international action and a truly collective response if we are to tackle threats to global health security, prevent infections spreading across borders, and halt the continued spread of deadly diseases.”

Calling on fellow G20 leaders to act, she said: “Not only do these diseases cause untold suffering to those who fall ill, they hold back whole countries’ development.

“I am deeply proud of the leading role the UK plays in international development and the life-saving impact of our aid spending.

“The pledge we are making today will save millions of lives and help to build a healthier and more prosperous world – and that is firmly in our national interest.”

Sir Elton John
Sir Elton John

The commitment comes a week after Sir Elton teamed up with France’s Emmanuel Macron to call for extra funding to tackle the three diseases.

Sir Elton, whose foundation partners with the Global Fund to provide treatment and support around the world, said: “Last week in Paris, President Macron and I called on the world to support replenishment of the Global Fund for Aids, TB and malaria.

“It is with profound respect that I thank the UK Government for today’s historic pledge to help do just that.”