South Korea increases contribution to Global Fund

South Korea doubled its contribution to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria over the next three years, the Global Fund announced on Thursday.

South Korea's Ministry of Health will contribute $6 million to the Global Fund between 2014 and 2016. The country's Ministry of Foreign Affairs will pay an additional $10 million to the Global Fund by drawing on the proceeds of a levy on international fights out of South Korea. The ministry will make the payments in five annual installments of $2 million between 2013 and 2017.

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

The $0.95 levy, which is called the Global Poverty Eradication Tax, was introduced by South Korea in 2007. The levy was primarily put in place to contribute to financial resources to battle disease and poverty in impoverished nations.

"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." Shin Dong-ik, the deputy minister for multilateral and global affairs in the South Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said.

Since 2004, South Korea has contributed $19 million to the Global Fund.