U.K. commits $1.6 billion to Global Fund

The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria announced on Monday that the United Kingdom will contribute $1.6 billion to the fund over the next three years.

Justine Greening, the U.K.'s Secretary of State for International Development, recently announced that the U.K. will contribute $533 million per year between 2014 and 2016. Greening made the announcement in New York before the start of the U.N. General Assembly.

The pledge represents the second largest by any government to date.

Nafsiah Mboi, the chair of the board of the Global Fund, cited the extraordinary generosity and leadership of the U.K. and thanked U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron for his long-term vision.

"This commitment will underlie a transformative step forward for the Global Fund and partners in their fight to defeat AIDS, TB and malaria," Mboi said. "The U.K. gives us all an inspiring model of responsible global citizenship."

The fund said the U.K. commitment would encourage other donors to maximize their own pledges to the fund. The contribution from the U.K. is limited to a maximum of 10 percent for the total raised for the Global Fund.

The U.K. is targeting saving the lives of 50,000 women in pregnancy and childbirth and 250,000 newborn babies, in addition to immunizing more than 55 million children against preventable diseases.

The U.K. pledge came after a pledge earlier in September made by Nordic countries, including Norway and Sweden, of $750 million between 2014 and 2016.