Debates of the Senate (Hansard)

3rd Session, 40th Parliament,
Volume 147, Issue 51

Tuesday, September 28, 2010
The Honourable Noël A. Kinsella, Speaker

International Cooperation

Administration of the Canadian Contribution to the Global Fund

Hon. Mobina S.B. Jaffer: Honourable senators, my question is to the Leader of the Government in the Senate with regard to malaria. It has long been known that the burden of malaria on the developing world is crushing. This entirely preventable disease affects 50 million to 500 million people every year, kills upwards of 1 million, and claims the life of an African child every 30 seconds.

Last week, Prime Minister Harper attended the UN summit, where he made a pledge to the Global Fund, an organization designed to combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis. I congratulate him for fostering our country’s commitment to providing aid to countries that are in dire need of assistance.

How much of the funds that the Prime Minister has promised will be dedicated specifically to malaria?

Hon. Marjory LeBreton (Leader of the Government): As the honourable senator rightly pointed out, the Prime Minister announced our new commitment of $540 million over three years to the Global Fund. The Global Fund directs approximately 61 per cent of its resources towards HIV and AIDS, 24 per cent towards the prevention and treatment of malaria, and 15 per cent towards tuberculosis.

Senator Jaffer: Have we specified to the Global Fund to which region, for example, to provide more nets, medicine or community health care? What specifically do we want the monies that will be used for malaria to be earmarked for?

Senator LeBreton: Honourable senators, as with all organizations within the United Nations, with the commitment that the government has made to the Global Fund, we obviously partner with the Global Fund. This amount of money is significant. I have provided the percentages that the Global Fund disburses for the various diseases. I dare say that the Global Fund is well equipped and well experienced in making decisions with regard to resources they are given by the various governments.

Speaking specifically for Canada, I dare say that when money is disbursed by the Global Fund, we must have some confidence that the Global Fund knows better than we do where the most serious needs are and where to direct the funding. I do not think any government of any stripe would want to go to an agency after giving them a large amount of funds, such as we have done, and tell them how to run their own operations.


Hon. Rose-Marie Losier-Cool: Honourable senators, the Prime Minister has announced that a $540 million contribution would be made over three years to the Global Fund. We are aware of the confusion that existed when we provided aid to Haiti.

Can the Leader of the Government tell us what federal agency will administer these funds? How will the actual use of this $540 million be accounted for to parliamentarians?


Senator LeBreton: Honourable senators, of course we know about the dire circumstances in Haiti, and we know many agencies of government are working there. As we all know, this country is not an easy set of circumstances to deal with. Haiti was a country with literally no infrastructure or programs to begin with, and it was completely devastated. I will be happy to provide the honourable senator with a list of the various agencies of government working in Haiti and what has been done to this point. Of course, as of Friday, we will have the added advantage of having our then former Governor General Michaëlle Jean as a UNESCO Special Envoy to Haiti.